Researchers are examining sea anemones in order to possibly discover secrets to longevity.
Sea anemones are soft-bodied animals that were once thought to be plants. They attach themselves to rocks and coral reefs that live in shallow waters. An anemone injects poison into small fish and shrimp, and then it uses its tentacles to guide the stunned creatures into its mouth, which also functions as its anus.
Currently, more than 1,000 different species are known to exist. Some are only a few inches long, while others extend several feet. Sea anemones live in every ocean, including the Arctic.
They also come in a wide variety of colors, and many people consider them to be beautiful, elegant creatures. They can live beyond 100 years if conditions are kept proper. Some scientists speculate that they might be able to live indefinitely
Sea anemones are known to regenerate any part of their bodies that becomes detached, including their unique mouths. They simply get larger over time, and are known for being essentially immune to the process of aging.
The longevity of these creatures has greatly intrigued scientists. They are not known to develop tumors or cancer, which is remarkable considering that they constantly replenish themselves.
While they continue to age, they appear to remain youthful, vibrant and full of life. Even though the same structure remains, new cells are constantly being formed.
What scientists don’t know is the process involved. However, they would like to learn more, since they might be able to isolate a gene in order to prevent the process of aging in people.
Still, it’s unknown if a gene from a unique sea creature could be utilized in humans. But there is hope, as sea anemones are more similar to humans than most people realize. Both humans and sea anemones contain a central nervous system that contains a network of neurons enabling them to respond to stimuli. Although sea anemones are incredibly simple creatures, there’s more to them than initially meets the eye.
While these creatures might be silly forms of amusement to humans, they might ultimately hold the valuable secret to achieving immortality.