We will become immortal jellyfish

Just yesterday the New York Times published a study about a species of animal that has achieved immortality. Or, we should say, inertial immortality. Inertial immortality is defined by me as follows: an object is inertially immortal if but only if it exists and will continue to exist unless another object destroys it. Many non-living objects have inertial immortality, e.g. plastic bottles, plastic bins, nuclear missiles, and so on. However, very few living objects have inertial immortality. Alex Chiu claims that he is one such object, but these claims have yet to be reviewed by the FDA or NASA.

Unfortunately, the author of the study, professional tweeter Nathanial Rich, falsely claims that this discovery has “barely registered outside the academic world.” Yet I, who am (proudly) outside the academic world, clearly registered the discovery back when Nathan was in diapers. It would have been nice to receive credit in Rich’s article.

I will end with a striking quote from the leading jellyfish scientist, Shin Kubota, who triples as a professional web designer and singer-songwriter.

Turritopsis application for human beings is the most wonderful dream of mankind. … Once we determine how the jellyfish rejuvenates itself, we should achieve very great things. My opinion is that we will evolve and become immortal ourselves.

Strike that. I will in fact end with an emotional video (different from the one in the singer-songwriter link) of Dr. Kubota presenting his research lyrically.

Advertisements