Flatworms Could Hold Key To Immortality

flat-worm_2152792bIs this the most advanced creature on Earth? Via the Telegraph:

British researchers believe that the worms, which live in ponds and lakes, could live forever after examining their ability to repeatedly regenerate.

“Our data satisfy one of the predictions about what it would take for an animal to be potentially immortal,” Aziz Aboobaker, who led the research. “The next goals for us are to understand the mechanisms in more detail and to understand more about how you evolve an immortal animal.”

Flatworms, known as planarian worms, have long fascinated scientists because they have an extraordinary ability to regenerate. A planarian worm split lengthways or crossways will regenerate into two separate living worms. The researchers found that flatworms can continuously maintain the length of a crucial part of their DNA, known as telomeres, during regeneration.

49 Comments on "Flatworms Could Hold Key To Immortality"

  1. Anarchy Pony | Feb 29, 2012 at 6:36 pm |

    And immortality is a good idea in what universe?

    • DeepCough | Feb 29, 2012 at 6:45 pm |

       All immortality means is “the quality of not being dead.” Eternal life is an entirely different matter.

      • Anarchy Pony | Feb 29, 2012 at 6:52 pm |

        Seems kind of like semantics to me.

        • DeepCough | Feb 29, 2012 at 7:12 pm |

          Reminds me of a Greek myth: a man asks for eternal life from the Gods, but he forgets to ask for eternal youth, so he continues to deteriorate to the point where he is nothing but a cricket. So, yeah, be careful what you wish for and such.

          • RobinHoode | Feb 29, 2012 at 7:55 pm |

            You would not live very long if you don’t stay healthy as you age. In fact, the main cause of death in late years of life is not “age” but “age-related illnesses”. So, in fact, living indefinitely almost _requires_ eternal youth to be possible.

    • Jin The Ninja | Feb 29, 2012 at 7:06 pm |

      well it depends, are we getting powers on par with a magical girl or a messianic reality alterning demi-god? because it makes a difference.

    • RobinHoode | Feb 29, 2012 at 7:09 pm |

      If you want to die, that’s fine by me. But personally, I think humans should be allowed to live forever, if they choose to, and their lives don’t interfere with the happiness of others.

      • Jin The Ninja | Feb 29, 2012 at 8:05 pm |

        the constant drain of resources might interfere with the other 7 billion immortals need for the same thing.

        • RobinHoode | Feb 29, 2012 at 11:53 pm |

          People have been saying that for years. The fact is, however, that we are far from efficient with our resources in the 1st world, and far from efficient in our production. 

          Furthermore, the birth rate will probably fall dramatically if people live longer.

          • Jin The Ninja | Mar 1, 2012 at 12:18 am |

            I completely agree that we’re “far from efficient” in the western world, in fact i’d posit we’re thieves of 3rd world resources (neo imperialism), so how exactly would that change in context to those same first worlders achieving immortality?

          • Only allow third worlders to become immortal.

          • Jin The Ninja | Mar 1, 2012 at 1:25 pm |

            whatever happened to the idea of consciousness “immortality” (i.e. downloading consciousness into a machine) or something less physical?

          • Eric_D_Read | Mar 1, 2012 at 2:32 pm |

            What good is living forever if you can’t fuck?

            That sounds more like an eternal prison than a life.

          • Jin The Ninja | Mar 1, 2012 at 4:42 pm |

            I am thinking more in terms of transcendant reality, rather than physical desire.

          • Sounds like an Iain M. Banks novel

          • Jin The Ninja | Mar 2, 2012 at 1:55 am |

            i thoroughly enjoyed the culture series.

          • Probably one of the greatest Sci Fi novelists ever. My favourite at any rate

          • Jin The Ninja | Mar 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm |

            which is your favourite book?

          • Xxurpimpdaddyxx | Mar 1, 2012 at 4:26 pm |

            I have to agree with ERIC_D_READ… if we don live in our physical bodies, therefore we cant eat, fuck, sleep, or do any of the things we enjoy as humans, whats the point?

          • Jin The Ninja | Mar 1, 2012 at 4:42 pm |

            If you’ve lived already an entire lifetime as a physical body, i can think of interesting things to explore as a non physical being.

          • It’s a long time dead… I’m sure you’ll be willing to give up anything to continue existing in some form as you feel your life force fade.

      • axisofinfinity | Feb 29, 2012 at 10:39 pm |

        those that can’t accept death will be the greediest of people and stop at nothing to further their happiness. stepping on anyone else’s in the process.

  2. DeepCough | Feb 29, 2012 at 6:49 pm |

    I dunno. I can’t imagine what fresh Hell would come from this research.

  3. Schizo the DJ | Feb 29, 2012 at 7:03 pm |

    While the regenerative aspects are worth researching, trying to potentially create immortal animals OR people doesn’t seem like a good idea. =/

    • RobinHoode | Feb 29, 2012 at 7:08 pm |

      Well, there are serious reasons to think we could not be “immortal”, based on our incomplete understanding of the universe. But what argument do you have against living indefinitely?

      • No death = no room for children = no evolution.

        • Anarchy Pony | Feb 29, 2012 at 7:19 pm |

          Plus it is very likely to lead to existential boredom. 

          • Said he who has never experienced eternal life.

          • RobinHoode | Feb 29, 2012 at 7:52 pm |

            If you’re bored with the idea of living forever, your life’s TODO list must be very short. Mine can fill probably 20 full lives.

          • Anarchy Pony | Feb 29, 2012 at 7:59 pm |

            God this thread is full of pie in the sky ignorance.

          • RobinHoode | Feb 29, 2012 at 8:01 pm |

            Enlighten us Anarchy Pony..

          • Evolution is still possible if the necessary step of legalized murder takes place. The mechanisms are just altered.

            Edit: despite this, this is all hypothetical, the concept of eternally living humans/humanlike entities, is absolute nonsense.

          • as a matter of fact, i think that immortal living iiiiissss a form of evolution… think about it.. plus, with this level of evolution, what more could you want?!?!

        • Hadrian999 | Feb 29, 2012 at 7:42 pm |

          how much further do you have to evolve past immortal?

        • RobinHoode | Feb 29, 2012 at 7:52 pm |

          I don’t understand how no death means no children. Some people will still die, like in car accidents. Almost every generation in developed countries has had higher and higher standard of living. I don’t see that slowing down any time soon. We have an abundance of living essentials in many parts of the world, except for things like fossil fuels, which we’ll dispose of at some point in the next 100 years. 

          As far as your evolution comment: Evolution is a slow process anyways, compared to the rate of human technology.

      • You how hard it is to resist burning shit as is? I couldn’t imagine resisting forever.

        • RobinHoode | Feb 29, 2012 at 7:56 pm |

          Resist burning shit? Like eating at Taco Bell?

          Just stop eating there. Problem solved.

  4. funny video of the worms regenerating after being sliced and diced.


  5. Hadrian999 | Feb 29, 2012 at 7:47 pm |

    hurry up before i get old

  6. Living forever, OK. Living forever here, no thanks.

  7. If you have really bad Karma, you reincarnate as this bastard.

  8. Anybody else a fan of Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing?

  9. Micah Dylan | Mar 1, 2012 at 4:27 pm |

    we could have sword fights all day 

Comments are closed.