Immortal Animals

If they can, could we?

Resources

AnAge – Database of Animal Ageing and Longevity – Human Ageing Genomic Resources (HAGR)
Curated database of ageing and life history in animals, including extensive longevity records.

Animals and plants that can live forever – BBC Earth
Stem cells seem to be the key in Hydra’s lack of cellular ageing

Latest News

Naked mole rat can survive with hardly any oxygen – New Scientist – 20-Apr-2017
Long-lived for its size and rarely gets cancer.
Oxygen level of 5 per cent (compared to 20% in air) kills mice within 15 minutes but naked mole rats just carry on as normal.
When oxygen drops too low they release fructose into their bloodstream , and the sugar is taken up by heart and brain cells to keep critical systems running.
COMMENT: I wonder if this is related to the extreme longevity?
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2128428-the-incredible-naked-mole-rat-can-survive-with-hardly-any-oxygen/

Aging not inevitable for sea urchins – MDI Biological Laboratory – 24-May-2016
Sea urchins can quickly regrow damaged spines and feet.
MDI Biological Laboratory studying sea urchins to better understand the aging process in humans.
New study hints that physical decline that typically accompanies aging is not inevitable.
Some live to extraordinary old ages with no signs of poor health and no increase in age-related mortality (unlike humans where it doubles every 8 years).
Regenerative capacity doesn’t decline even in species with shorter life expectancy.
Senescence may not be tied to a short life expectancy in the wild.

Naked Mole Rats Do Get Cancer – Longevity Reporter – 10-Feb-2016
Naked mole rats can live up to 30 years, making them the longest living rodents.
2 cases found – adenocarcinoma and gastric neuroendocrine carcinoma.
Still very rare.

American Ants That Never Get Old – Smithsonian – 21-Jan-2016
Pheidole dentata don’t show any signs of aging.
Their brains appear just as sharp and they are just as active.
Worker ants typically live for around 140 days.
May suffer a steep decline just before dying.
So not immortal but most people would like a healthspan that is very close to their lifespan like these ants.

Meet the animal that may live forever – Times of India – 26-Dec-2015
Tiny hydra – a centimetre-long polyp that inhabits fresh water all over the world – does not show any sign of deteriorating with age.
Could live in ideal conditions without showing any sign of senescence.
Also showed constant fertility over time.
But in wild they are exposed to the normal dangers – predation, contamination, diseases.
Most of the hydra’s body is made of stem cells with very few fully differentiated cells.

Could jellyfish help find a formula for immortality? – RYOT – 4-Oct-2015
Turritopsis nutricula jellyfish studied.
When under threat their cells begin a process called transdifferentiation in which certain cells mutate into other types of cells, e.g. muscle cells becoming eggs or sperms.
New cell types could arise either through a differentiation of uncommitted stem cells or by cellular trandifferentiation of differentiated medusa cells.

The Immortal Jellyfish – American Museum of Natural History – 04-May-2015
Turritopsis dohrnii grows to adulthood in a matter of weeks but can transform back into a polyp using transdifferentiation.

Lack of senescence in hydra – Newser – 2-Feb-15