Monday, March 12, 2018

10 "Immortal" Organisms (video) (Twitter, FB); Seth Auberon, CC Liu (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

(Epic Wildlife) From bacterial colonies that are 4,000,000 years old to a jellyfish that can never die [unless it gets killed], here are TEN IMMORTALS! A kind of bacteria thought to be aged about 4 million years old was found in a cave in New Mexico, USA.
  • Does Buddhism believe in "immortality"?
    Does Buddhism believe in "immortality"? Yes, in a sense. It is, however, not the sense we assume in the West. A synonym for nirvana is the "deathless" (Sanskrit amrita, Pali amata, Greek ambrosia). Logically "living forever" and "not dying" should be the same thing, but we assure readers that the two words are not exact synonyms. But if logic or linguistics says there's no difference, how are these two not the same thing? [The answer is technical and could bore some, so if anyone wants to think nirvana is immortal, think it's immortal. It certainly does not pass away. But why it does not pass away is the tricky issue at the heart of the matter. Why does it not pass away? It does not pass away because it does not depend on anything the way everything else does. ...]
Siberian Bacteria
There is a story out of Russia that involves another bacteria that is about 3.5 million years old. And a Russian scientist is injecting himself with it. Could it provide the key to immortality? The scientist, Dr. Anatoli Brouchkov, claims he’s grown stronger and hasn’t been ill in the two years since taking the injections. The bacteria was found embedded in Siberian permafrost in 2009, where it remained alive for millions of years. Scientists tested the bacteria on mice, which exhibited increased fertility. The bacteria was also shown to heal plants. Because it has activated the immune response in test subjects, experts think the bacteria can lead to discovering an elixir of life [kumbha mela ambrosia, amrita, soma] for immortality. While Dr. Brouchkov says he’s experiencing increased health benefits after using himself as a guinea pig, he also admits he has no clue just what the bacteria might be doing to him.

Minced Flatworms
Flatworms, which live in lakes and ponds, could help solve the riddle of immortality. British researchers think the creatures could essentially live forever due to their ability to repeatedly regenerate. In an experiment at Nottingham University, experts took one original worm then cut it into pieces then observed as each section regenerated into an entirely new creature. Over a 4-year period, a colony of some 20,000 flatworms was created from the original specimen, and their organs and bodies don't appear to age. Whether the worm is split vertically or horizontally, it will still regenerate into two separate, living worms. Researchers concluded that unless a single, undivided worm contracts an illness or infection, it could conceivably live forever!
Glass Sea Sponges
These animals might not look so durable. And a lot of people don’t think they look like animals. But their appearance aside, glass sea sponges are estimated to have a lifespan that could approach 15,000 years! That number is based on a study that estimated the age of one specimen at 23,000 years old. Glass sea sponges are often found in the Antarctic at depths up to 3,000 feet. Their name is a reference to their internal, rigid skeletons made of silica. Experts think they evolved into their current form over 700 million years ago and could represent the world’s oldest living animals.

Chinese Mushroom
The original Easter "eggs" we hunt in lawns
Did you know there’s a mushroom found in China that is said to provide huge health benefits? Maybe that’s not surprising, considering it’s a huge fungus! At its widest point, the Lingzhi mushroom measures about 3 feet wide and weighs over 16 pounds! A store owner in Southwest China displayed the immense mushroom at his shop. It has a red, kidney shaped cap and no gills on the underside. The spores are released through fine pores instead. It’s gained a reputation as the "immortality mushroom" and has been used in traditional Chinese medicines for over 2,000 years. It’s said to contain around 1,000 compounds that are beneficial to health, such as polysaccharides, known to enhance the activity of white blood cells. That’s one of the key ingredients of the Lingzhi said to lower blood pressure, stop the growth and spread of cancer cells, and even slow down the aging process! But the magic of the Immortality Mushroom does come with a price tag. A basic bag of Lingzhi mushroom powder runs about $30 US dollars. The entire fungus will set you back around $900.

Mediteranean Jellyfish
This small species of jellyfish lives in the Mediterranean Sea and the waters of Japan. It can apparently live there forever! Turritopsis dohrnii is a creature around 4.5 millimeters wide, smaller than the nail on a pinky finger. You can see what the creature looks like in these photos taken by Takashi Murai and Yiming Chen. Notice the long, thin strand-like tentacles extending from underneath the creature. Those tentacles will retract and the jellyfish will shrink as it reverts to its juvenile polyp state. You can also see that while the shape of the creature’s bells are similar, their coloration ranges from gold to crimson to electric blue. Adult forms of this species can hit a type of reset button, allowing them to essentially start their life cycle all over again. The process is called transdifferentiation and would seem to ensure that this animal can never die unless they’re killed by a predator or stricken with disease. Otherwise they are, in effect, immortal.

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