From www.science.org.au: “No one likes the thought of growing old. Despite our many human endeavors to escape or delay the process of aging, it seems to be an inevitable part of life.
But … why? Why do living things gradually fall apart when they grow older?
There is a word for it: senescence is the state of gradual deterioration of normal functioning. At the cellular level, it means cells stop dividing and they eventually die. It can also apply to an entire organism (where a living thing can no longer respond adequately to outside stressors), or to specific organs or tissues (like leaves dying and falling from trees in autumn).
While there are ways we can slow down (or speed up) the rate at which senescence occurs, it is still going to happen one way or another. However, a few species can escape the aging process completely.”
Interesting video on a self-regenerating organism called the hydra from Skunk Bear: Science From NPR.
Here is another interesting article specifically about the species of immortal jellyfish, Turritopsis
Here is an excerpt from that article on how these findings are being investigated in science to discover the secrets of regeneration.
“Every cell contains all the information necessary to build a new whole organism, but only part of this information is actually used once a cell becomes differentiated. What is the molecular mechanism that allows a resetting of the developmental information across all cells, leading to ontogeny reversal? The genome of Turritopsis
About 18 years ago, Stuart was translating a text by Zhang Senfeng, the founder of Tai Chi Chuan and the author of numerous internal alchemy texts. At the very end of a text on Internal Alchemy (which are methods of using the nature within us to reverse the natural aging process), it said “but this is just the Jellyfish method.”
That text was written at least 1,200 years ago. Somehow Taoists knew that some Jellyfish were immortal way back then because that’s what this text was about, reversing aging and restoring youth through internal alchemy methods. With that level of wisdom and attunement to nature that these Taoist sages had, to even know about the immortal jellyfish, it makes sense that they were also able to discover through observation, intuition, and insight how to apply the underlying natural laws that made it possible for the Jellyfish to regenerate themselves to us as humans.
As Thomas Merton said, “There are no miracles, only unknown laws of nature” and Taoism has been studying those laws deeply for thousands of years.