Immortality, Jellyfish Style

This video is a Nerdfighter side project of Hank Green’s called SciShow. If you’re a history buff John Green also has a side project called Crash Course…DFTBA.

The very idea of immortality is almost as old as pre-human apes, or really just as long as there have been life forms intelligent enough to interpret the inevitable coming of death. Immortality has been philosophized and fictionalized for centuries in vastly different spectrums, from profound Greek philosophers to the stuttering, sparkling world of Bella Swan.

However, immortality is normally simplified into two endings, either the immortal are horrifically lonely, causing chaos to pass their infinitely long lives, or they find or are given some kind of peace, either a companion if you’re Doctor Who, or death if you’re Dorian Gray. Therefore, we puny mortals tend to side with one of two opinions on the subject, either happy to live 80 full years or happy with living forever, regardless of any possible consequences.

The thought of living forever the way that this clever little jellyfish does though is an entirely different perspective on the subject. If we mastered their technique, we would be able to live fully till 80, then dial back to 14 and start again. So yes, that is a very different world we are speaking of, you would never know whether you were talking to an 8 year old or a 208 year old, but it gives an immortal world that allows for aging, experiencing family and friends for an infinite amount time, and even the opportunity of death if it was desired.

Now we are speaking fairly hypothetically here, not only is it more pressing to use the regenerative properties of this animal to help heal destructive cellular diseases such as HIV and various cancers, but the human form is insanely complex and to be able to reverse our growth patterns evenly and precisely would be an amazing feat by science. So, it is not impossible, but it is far away, that said, what do you think? Is it worth pursuing the possibility of immortality or do we have enough of an overpopulation problem already?

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Immortality, Jellyfish Style

  1. I can see the use for this research in regards to medical advancement, doctors are always looking for ways to help improve our standard of health. However, I wouldn’t pursue immortality because it simply goes against nature. In nature things live by a cycle, that cycle includes a period of birth, growth, maturity, and death.

    • Katherine Tucker

      Ah yes, but remember that this little animal lives as part of this cycle too, he can just reverse that cycle any time he wants. Is it going against nature if the rest of nature just hasn’t caught up yet?

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