Who wants to live forever?


Full Screen Image – Beadlet Anemone, Ardmair Bay, Highland Scotland ©Nick Sidle

A report in the BBC News Magazine quoting Professor Dan Rokhsar from the University of California, Berkeley notes the observation that Sea Anemones live a very long time and possibly even indefinitely, unless their luck runs out and they are eaten, poisoned or a similar disaster catches up with them.

BBC News – The creature with the key to immortality

The Professor of genetics points out that there are similarities in the genome structure of anemones and human beings despite their going back more than 700 million years. However, despite confirming that they do have a recognisable nervous system allowing them to respond to stimuli and function as predators, it does have to be accepted that they really only live for the moment. They do not have the complications of memories, culture and consciousness, so whilst they may be able to go on forever and can certainly regrow large parts of their structure on need, effective regeneration to preserve what we would say matters most still remains the sole preserve of a certain doctor with a police telephone box, unless of course what you care about preserving is your appearance and then even the anemones manage that. I’ve also acknowledged that they experience (or not as the case may be), luck. Perhaps the links with us are really strong after all.


Scotland Marine gallery

Beadlet Anemone – Actinia equina