Tuesday 22 December 2015

Hail the Hydra, an Animal That May Be Immortal

by Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor | December 22, 2015 08:04am ET

In ancient Greek myth, the Hydra was a multi-headed monster that grew two more heads for every one that it lost. As it turns out, the real-life animal named after this mythical beast may be even more tenacious.

A new study finds that hydra — spindly, freshwater polyps — can live seemingly forever, without aging.

Unlike most multicellular species, hydra don't show any signs of deteriorating with age, according to the new research, published Dec. 7 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 

"I started my original experiment wanting to prove that hydra could not have escaped aging," study researcher Daniel Martinez, a Pomona College biologist, said in a statement. "My own data has proven me wrong — twice."

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