Who wants to live forever?

Scene of the movie "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

Who wants to live forever? Every living creature on this planet was born to die and does so a little bit every day. That is why one should live every day to its fullest and give a meaning to every action and every word. But that is okay. This is the way it has always been and how it is supposed to be. Our fatal inevitable death is one of the reasons why the movie “The curious case of Benjamin Button” has fascinated many people in 2008. In the movie the main character was born an old man and died as a baby. Everything was upside down and made people wonder: “what if…?”


Only one living creature in the world might have the potential to reverse the way things are supposed to be. A hydrozan jellyfish named Turritopsis nutricula is able to break the cycle. After it reaches its mature adult stage, it is capable to switch and go back to its immature polyp stage and back again. The secret lies in a process called transdifferentation. The jellyfish is able to alter the state of any cell in its body and that way regenerate its body as often as it wishes to do so. Hence these animals can call themselves immortal and their numbers in the Caribbean Sea are quietly increasing and spreading all over the world. If scientists would find a way to adapt human cells to jellyfish cells and if one day humans would become immortal livings always growing old and young, would we still cherish every day to its fullest? Maybe one should pose a more realistic question: What if jellyfish would rule the world in the future?

By Ann-Kathrin Pankow

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