Science Says Jellyfish Do Not Grow a Backbone - Spineless

Jellyfish could be real-world monsters out to take over the planet. They readily breed in their millions. Many have taken up residence under buildings constructed by Man off the shoreline. Jellies do not need a backbone to strut there stuff. They are dominant without one. A diver attaches sensor giant echizen jellyfish coast Japan. TIM FLANNERY Are jellyfish taking world’s oceans? number recent books documentaries argue are, moreover, they’re doing so our help. In Spineless: Science Jellyfish Art Growing Backbone, self-styled jellyfish journalist Juli Berwald sets discover scientists claims. Yet six-year quest morphs something else, prompting deep introspective life people meets way. For an Austin, Texas-based motthree wife banker, negotiating time family funding various expeditions become significant threats tale. As sets out, Berwald puts questions jellyfish expert Jennifer Purcell. Purcell’s response complex nuanced follows saying: “If dare, kind story … real story.” Berwald researcher, having given up career marine biology become contracted writer scientific textbooks turning jellyfish journalism. But Purcell’s challenge tell full, scientifically complex story jellyfish becomes mantra. world’s oceans being overrun jellyfish given mighty fillip 21st century series events floppy sea creatures triumphed humans. USS Ronald Reagan, mightiest warship US Navy, visiting Brisbane jellyfish clogged cooling systems, bringing nuclear-powered aircraft carrier halt. weekend northern Australia, swimmers stung jellyfish in jellyfish killed 10,000 captive salmon Northern ireland $US2 million loss. crippled power plants, stalled desalination systems wreaked havoc cooling systems. jellyfish crippled entire ecosystems. Black Sea taken comb jelly had carried from North America. outbreak probably started individuals conveyed ballast water ships. Hermaphrodites can produce 10,000 eggs per day, jellified vast areas Black Sea, value anchovy fishery there reduced per cent milli fishermen became unemployed. Black Sea’s fisheries saved accidental introduction another kind jelly had an ample mouth can engulfl comb jellies: consuming six per cent Black Sea’s comb jelly population a day. Monty Graham researchers struggling make sense data jellyfish numbers being collected worldwide. grant US National Centre Ecological Analysis Synthesis, collating reports covering 70 year period. Berwald if jellyfish fact taking over, he says: ‘‘have an answer couple years.’’ I really concerned getting answer … f..king what?” Before Berwald Other avenues open. Berwald discovers Australian jellyfish expert Rob Cond posted poll asking experts comment jellyfish numbers increasing. Berwald checked results, two yes, onr no, seven undecided — says much number jellyfish experts existence question. As pursues quest, Berwald uncovers fascinating aspects jellyfish behaviour, including fact efficient swimmers ever dicovered. Most their forward motion created pushing water (creating low pressure behind) sucked forward far efficient water push it, marine engineers believe future, vessels advantage method. New understandings jellyfish biology opening huge advances medical science, species promise filled pinhead-sized ‘‘immortal jellyfish’’. dies decomposes, cells escape corpse create jellyfish, extraordinary biology stumbled across student collected Genoa, Italy, forgot put refrigerator weekend. When he returned Monday, jellyfish had decomposed, in place stolons (stalks baby jellyfish bud) creature had reversed life cycle. It recently discovered moon jellyfish (larger common species) also immortal. Chinese student Juntu He neglected room full aquariums containing moon jellyfish. died, sank bottom aquariums disintegrated. But months detritus began re-form itself: ‘‘Tentacles emerged. A mouth formed.” healthy polyp formed from detritus corpses. Most cells, (muscle cell instance), cannot reverse themselves become stem cell. jellyfish cells ‘‘can hit ­rewind button’’. might lead ­variety treatments conditions arise our cells go awry, including Parkinson’s disease cancers. If all sounds fantastical, encouraging hear researchers investigating genes switched on immortal jellyfish rejuvenates itself. Jellyfish play unique role ocean’s ecosystems. big enough be eaten fish, small enough stingers eat tiny plankton, so form direct bridge smallest largest creatures ocean. They are ‘‘keystone species’ appropriate numbers keep ecosystems healthy. humans influencing jellyfish abundance, pier built Hiroshima harbour. size three-bedroom house, underside monitored camera polyps moon jellyfish. appeared four months, month later entire underside of structure coated polyps, released 23 million baby jellyfish into bay. Our impacts on marine ecosystems now pervasive. large predatory fish taken entire ecosystems disrupted, plastic pollution oceans offers ever places jellyfish reproduce. Towards end project, Berwald got an answer initial question researchers jellyfish sighting database, including Graham, published results their research. Basically, found there evidence jellyfish numbers increasing if all data included. better-quality data used is evidence of increase. Graham question not right ask. ocean full ecosystems, response each unique. In severely affecteds land, jellyfish may well be increasing dramatically courtesy human disturbance. But truth global jellyfish take seems be tale world not prepared. Tim Flannery scientist writer. Science Says Jellyfish do Not Grow a Backbone - Spineless
The immortal jellyfish
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