Jellyfish Genome Suggests Multiple Pathways Can Synergize to Extend Healthy Lifespans

(p. A3) A team of scientists in Spain has succeeded in mapping the genome of a jellyfish known for its ability to cheat death by rebirthing itself.

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In a study published Monday [Aug. 29, 2022] in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the authors said they hoped their genome mapping might lead to discoveries relevant to human aging and efforts to improve the human healthspan.

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Three types can rejuvenate after adulthood and of those three, only one, the Turritopsis dohrnii, keeps its capacity at 100%, according to the study.

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The scientists compared their genome mapping of T. dohrnii to that of a closely related species that isn’t known to have post-reproductive rejuvenation.

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Dr. Jan Karlseder, a molecular biologist and director of the Glenn Center for Biology of Aging Research at the Salk Institute, said the study contained an important message about extending the healthspan, or healthy years, of an organism.

“The most interesting thing is that it’s not a single molecular pathway . . . It is a combination of many of them,” he said. “If we want to look for an extension of healthspan, we cannot just focus on one pathway. That will not be sufficient. We need to look at many of them and how they synergize.”

For the full story see:

Ginger Adams Otis and Alyssa Lukpat. “Scientists Map the Genome of an ‘Immortal Jellyfish’.” The Wall Street Journal (Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022): A3.

(Note: ellipses between paragraphs, added; ellipsis within paragraph, in original. Bracketed date added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date August 29, 2022, and has the title “Scientists Move Closer to Unlocking the Secrets of the Immortal Jellyfish, and Possibly Human Aging.”)

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