There has always been an interest in remaining young: immortality in myths, the fountain of youth, plastic surgery. People have continued to search for a means of stopping the aging process to prolong life. Immortality may be impossible for humans, but there is a fresh water animal that does not seem to age.
Daniel Martinez was one of the first researchers to study hydras, of the phylum Cnidaria, at Pomona College. Martinez focused on the lack of senescence, “a deteriorative process that increases the probability of death of an organism with increasing chronological age.” Hydras undergo morphallaxis, tissue regeneration, which allows the genus to constantly renew its tissue. Hydras’ tissue regenerates itself, copying the same cellular structure, allowing their cells to remain ageless.
With mortality rates low, caused often by environmental changes like food shortage or displacement, hydras are to be considered biologically immortal.