Animal immortality

  Throughout the history of thousands of years, human beings have always avoided death and persisted in the fanatical pursuit of the “immortality” method. The legendary elixir, fountain of eternal youth, golden stone, and holy grail, these legendary “sacred objects” that can make the owner immortal, have been admired by humans all over the world since ancient times. At the same time, there are many people who have focused their attention on some long-lived animals a long time ago, intending to find their “secret of longevity” and try to imitate them. For example, some people once claimed that learning tortoises and turtles can effectively extend their lifespan; some people eat these “long-lived” animals directly into their stomachs in exchange for a strong body. Today, staying away from death has evolved into a huge global industry worth 1.4 trillion yuan. These funds are used to study the most vital creatures in nature, trying to transfer their secret of immortality to humans from the perspective of genetics.
  An arctic clam named Ming is the longest-lived animal known now. Its lifespan “annual rings” are clearly printed on the shell. It is 507 years old this year. Even after spending more than five centuries, Ming still has various signs of continuation of life: foraging, metabolism, and reproduction. How did it survive so long? The answer is that the clam has mastered the key factors that control cell death. Researchers at Bangor University in the United Kingdom have found that animals like Ming can reduce the damage to cells caused by the body in the metabolic process. In metabolism, cells (especially the mitochondria responsible for energy production in the cell) will continuously produce free radicals. This highly active group of atoms easily reacts with cell components, damages the biofilm system and other cell structures, and causes protein loss Activity, causing genetic mutations and cell deformation, senescence and apoptosis. These long-lived animals can inhibit the activity of “free radicals” and prolong the activity of body cells.
  Birds also have this “secret technique”. For example, pigeons metabolize three times faster than mice, but does this mean that they suffer from free radical damage three times faster than mice? the answer is negative. In fact, the amount of free radicals produced by pigeons in metabolism is only one tenth of that of mice. A lucky mouse can live as long as 2 to 3 years, while a pigeon may live as long as 10 to 15 years. Almost all birds have this ability to delay aging. In addition, animals such as bats, tortoises and sea turtles have evolved similar “secret techniques.”
  Obviously, these animals have become “superheroes” in the animal kingdom. Their special ability is to slow down their aging rate. This seems to be the most remarkable “super ability” in nature. Therefore, these creatures have undoubtedly become the most interesting creatures for humans who pursue longevity. However, scientists are not only concerned about them, and some primitive organisms that we have not paid attention to before have also been included in the research ranks to explore how to make humans a healthier life in order to live longer.
  For example, through a four-year experiment, Daniel Maltenez, a biologist at Pomona College in the United States, found that the tiny primitive creatures, only a few millimeters in size, were still the same as when they were born. , Maintaining the same vitality and life characteristics, its main trunk seems to have the ability to permanently renew itself. In other words, the hydras have no signs of aging at all, and they will not experience “aging” problems such as body aging, reduced fertility, and increased mortality over time. This most primitive creature has truly realized “immortality”. According to Daniel’s research, the secret of longevity of Hydra comes from stem cells. Their bodies are mainly composed of stem cells. Stem cells can continue to differentiate, so Hydra’s body can continue to renew. No matter which part of the Hydra’s body is damaged, stem cells can differentiate into corresponding tissue cells and complete repair quickly.
  The creatures with the magical “immortality” also include a creature called Caenorhabditis elegans. Its mystery lies in the fact that the body development of this nematode will stagnate when hungry, and when it resumes eating, it will enter normal development. At this time, the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans will be significantly extended, and it is likely to be extended by 2~ 3 times. In addition, there are some mollusks, such as the larvae of some pearl mussels that are parasitic in the gills of salmon. They will inject some anti-aging proteins into the host fish, so that the host can live healthier and longer life, and avoid cancer and other diseases. Intrusion. Another kind of jellyfish called lighthouse has created a miracle of “rejuvenation”. They don’t die quietly after laying their eggs like other jellyfish. On the contrary, the lighthouse jellyfish will return to the larval age and repeat their life over and over again. Therefore, this jellyfish is also called “Benjamin Button”. “Jellyfish” (the protagonist of the 2008 movie “Rejuvenation”, born in the image of an old man, and then living and younger, growing backwards). These natural mysteries that exist in nature are being solved by researchers.