DNA from ‘immortal’ jellyfish may provide clues on human ageing, research finds

Jellyfish can reverse ageing process and be born again

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Monday 29 August 2022 23:26 BST
Ancient jellyfish discovered beneath Arctic ice in winter shocks scientists

Researchers believe that an “immortal” species of jellyfish that can reverse its ageing process holds the keys to understanding human ageing and pioneering new types of medicines.

Most jellyfish follow a similar cycle of birth and death. They begin their lives as drifting larvae, attach to the seafloor and turn into polyps, then clone themselves and form stack colonies, members of which eventually branch off and assume the familiar jellyfish form we are used to seeing in oceans and aquariums.

One species, however, Turritopsis dohrnii, adds an unexpected final step to this process. When under threat, either by injuries or harsh ocean conditions, it can turn itself in a cyst-like form that reattaches to the seafloor colonies and reverts to the polyp stage, before going through the development process once again, according to New Scientist.

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