Immortality and the Process of Cell Transdifferentiation- Xavier

Immortality. It’s something our civilization has puzzled over since the dawn of time. As a child, my 8 year old brain marveled over the exploits of Ponce de León and the Fountain of Youth. But as far as the average person is aware, immortality is just a myth. Well, today I’ll be telling you about how it may not be. Immortality is important as such a discovery could change our whole world, affecting everyone, including us. We could exist without a care in the world, not bothering to stay fit, as we could live forever.

Have you heard about the process of cell transdifferentiation? You most likely haven’t, so I’ll explain it. I learned that cell transdifferentiation is a cell condition in which your cells transform from one type to another. One creature, the Turritopsis Dornhii (also known as the Immortal Jellyfish) uses this unique process to it’s advantage. You see, the Turritopsis Dornhii is called the “Immortal” Jellyfish for a reason; it can revert from an adult into an infant. It’s cells convert from that of a sexually mature stage into that of a sexually immature stage. The process can be likened to a chicken turning into an egg, which then hatches into another chicken. I used to think that immortality could be good for our health, but I now realize that it would give us no incentive to exercise or be healthy. In addition, we are at least decades away from achieving immortality, and we have to realize that if we want to live the longest life we can, the best way is to be fit.

The "immortal jellyfish" can transform itself back into a polyp and begin life anew.

The “immortal jellyfish” can revert from an adult to a child.

Shen, Chia-Ning, Zoë D. Burke, and David Tosh. “Transdifferentiation, Metaplasia and Tissue Regeneration.” Organogenesis. Landes Bioscience, 2004. Web. 21 Aug. 2016.

“The Immortal Jellyfish.” Immortal Jellyfish. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Aug. 2016.

Rich, Nathaniel. “Can a Jellyfish Unlock the Secret of Immortality?” The New York Times. The New York Times, 01 Dec. 2012. Web. 21 Aug. 2016.