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Keeping up with the Immortal Jellyfish: Biological Immortality in the Animal Kingdom & Applications for Prolonging Human Lifespan

Project by Polygence alum Lily

Keeping up with the Immortal Jellyfish: Biological Immortality in the Animal Kingdom & Applications for Prolonging Human Lifespan

Project's result

Lily gave a live conference talk at the Spring 2023 Symposium Rising Scholars where she won the First Place Talks Award. She also published a paper in the Journal of Student Research.

They started it from zero. Are you ready to level up with us?

Summary

Biological immortality is the state in which organisms do not die of old age or the natural and inevitable breakdown of cells over time. Although biological immortality is not currently the reality in humans, as our rate of mortality
increases as we age, interestingly enough, biological immortality has been observed throughout the animal kingdom in organisms including the Hydra flatworm, Turritopsis dohrnii jellyfish, lobsters, and tardigrades. To achieve the
shared goal of biological immortality, however, the aforementioned organisms employ various different mechanisms ranging from controlling FoxO gene expression to reversibly halting metabolism. The following paper overviews this variety of mechanisms and attempts to apply them to humans in order to evaluate the question: “Is it possible for
humans to become biologically immortal?”

Saam

Saam

Polygence mentor

MPH Master of Public Health candidate

Subjects

Psychology, Quantitative, Biology

Expertise

biology, biochemistry, immunology, chemistry, math

Lily

Lily

Student

Hi! My name is Lily Nguyen, and my project is on biological immortality in the animal kingdom and how it relates to the possibilities of naturally extending human lifespan. I first became fascinated with the concept of biological immortality after learning that over 1 out of 5 Americans have a fear of death, myself included!

School

James C. Enochs High School

Graduation Year

2023