Can jellyfish help regeneration medicine and bring us closer to immortality?

How those inconspicuous animals could be immortal and what potential brings stem cells they store?

Not for many of us might be obvious that jellyfish is something more than 95% of water and rest of organic matter. Lack of brain, heart and blood doesn’t indicate them on being on evolutionary advanced stage but there are some studies proving their underrated features which may bring us promising solutions in cell biology and regeneration medicine field.

Image credit: Pixabay (Free Pixabay license)

Unsolved mechanism of Turritopsis nutricula never-ending life cycle which is so far the only immortal organism discovered brings many questions and hopes for finding a new improvements, ideas for cell regeneration science.  Turritopsis nutricula is a hydrozoan that can after reaching adulthood stage transfer back its cells into childhood.

Hydrozoans have two stages in their life:  polyp and medusa. The polyp stage is settled, cells gather in colonies, the medusa stage is a planktonic. In hydrozoan we see that scheme: Medusa arises from the asexual budding of the polyp and the polyp develops from sexual reproduction of medusae. In nutricula case medusa have the capability to bud polyps or medusae which also have the ability to create new medusa – making it look like real life Perpetum mobile.

That’s not the only surprise those planctionic orgasnism hide in their tissue. Stem cells in cnidarians has been an object of interests of many scientist but mostly investigated ones were those of  Hydra. Hydra has self-renewing cell types that behave  stem cells alike. In medusa it’s considered that amebocyte – mobile cell, which has potential to develop in other cell and interstitial cells – to be stem cell alike because of their development possibility. They can turn in different other cell types. There is more research ahead needed to be investigated to specify mechanism of those medusa cell development.

Written by Karen Sornek


NOAA. What is eutrophication? National Ocean Service website,, 09/28/20.

Stem cell dynamics in Cnidaria: are there unifying principles? David A. Gold & David K. Jacobs. Received: 2 July 2012 /Accepted: 26 October 2012 / Published online: 21 November 2012 # Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Geekweek, 06.09.2019