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back to article Immortal Dr Who jellyfish poised to rule Earth

The worldwide jellyfish-threat trouser state was officially raised from "damp" to "brown" last week, as reports emerged of a dreadful new oceanic menace: that of immortal rebirthing ocean-prowler hydrozoan clone swarms, described by top jelly boffins as "silent invaders". Joining such well-known scourges as the famous quarter- …

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really?

"transformed for the nonce into a thicket of supplementary genitalia"

Admit it, you're just jealous.

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fishy?

Are these the ones that fish eat?

If so the invasion problem is less a jellyfish one and more of an issue about over fishing.

There's an interesting study on Cape Cod somewhere which talks about the failure of fish numbers to recover. Apparently the same jellyfish that the cod used to eat now eat the cod eggs.

Mother Nature sure has a sense of humor.

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Bring the kerosene

I'd like to believe that this invasion is unrelated to the soon-to-come The Thing remake. Oh yes, I wish I could.

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I for one,

welome our new gelatinous overlords.

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Perhaps...

this creature is something those involved in stem cell research should be dissecting, probing and sequencing. Or talking to, depending on ones moral stance regarding the use of animals for research.

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jai
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yes but...

...will it blend?

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That reminds me

I MUST RING MY MOTHER

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Dr. Who?

I think the Dr. Who reference was a bit of a stretch.

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@Lewis Page

"immortal rebirthing ocean-prowler hydrozoan clone swarms"

"disgusting Turritopsian slime hordes"

"settling the wobbling morph-monsters"

As Ron Dennis would say - fantastic again, Lewis.

In other news, "Settling the wobbling morph-monster" would be a great euphemism for masturbation.

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Paris Hilton

Fruit jellies?

Has anyone checked the confectionery angle? I'd eat the feckers if they were wine gums.

Paris 'cos she's a bit gooey too.

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At least they're small.

The big ones really freak me out

http://st.blog.cz/m/mibeky.blog.cz/obrazky/16138555.jpg

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Only a big as a fingernail ?

In other news, an alien invasion fleet today was accidentally swallowed by a small dog.

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Flame

@Jau

yes, they will indeed. But as some biologist discovered, they will also quite happily reconstitute themselves back into pukka jellyfish on leaving to stand after a brisk blending.......

Flame - sweet steralising fire, and lots of it.......

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Paris Hilton

Culinary angle?

Are they tasty? If it's a sea creature and it shows up within a few thousand miles of Japan, surely the Japanese could render us an opinion.

Paris for the culinary... oh, different word.

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Paris Hilton

Well said adnim

Sounds as though there is a LOT we can learn from the biology on this one.

If it's possible that there is a technique for turning any cell into another, then we could consign to history a lot of debilitating conditions.

Maybe we could become a little immortal ourselves - though I would prefer to live a long and healthy life and then die suddenly* rather than a gradual decay.

ttfn

PH - if we were all immortal then we could all make a nice video with our favorite star**.

*as in the joke

'I want to die quietly in my sleep just like my uncle, not screaming in terror like the passengers in his car.'

** as in celebrity, not Sol etc.

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Happy

Turritopsian?

Ha! The first time I searched for this, it was a googlewhack. The second time, the top hit was...wikipedia! Hooray :)

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Alien

Hmm, I'm sure I've seen these before . . .

. . . if I could only figure out where . . .

"First up, yes, the thing doesn't die unless it feels like it."

". . . is just about impossible to kill. In the face of starvation, physical attack or "other crisis", it shapeshifts itself into "a bloblike cyst" from which it can then be reborn in a quite literally stomach-churning process."

Ooh, ooh, it's just come back to me. I read the upside down Union Flag snippet and seeing Mandies' face clinched it . . . the Palaces of Westminster are fucking full of this shit !!!!

"In fact the disgusting *PARLIAMENTARIAN* slime hordes exhibit all the qualities one would expect in a hideous notional composite made up of equal parts jellyfish, vampire, lycanthrope, clone stormtrooper assassin and Dr Who/Dorian Gray/Benjamin Button/etc. Not only that, they are also freeloading hitchhiker degenerates, who have spread to conquer all the *CORNERS* of the world by riding undetected in the bilgewater of human *APATHY*."

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Unhappy

@Well said adnim

>"f it's possible that there is a technique for turning any cell into another,"

There is; it's called "cancer", and it's basically what these things are: huge great living blobs of tumour, floating around the sea. That doesn't mean we might not learn something about our own cells and their reproduction and pathologies from them, but I just wouldn't get your hopes up over this.

>"Maybe we could become a little immortal ourselves"

You basically just summed up cancer in a nutshell right there.

>" - though I would prefer to live a long and healthy life and then die suddenly* rather than a gradual decay."

Thanks to cancer, you can now have the best of both worlds: a fast and unhealthy decay, followed by a slow and anticipated death! Yay cancer!

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@ Adnim and Paul Murphy

"If it's possible that there is a technique for turning any cell into another, then we could consign to history a lot of debilitating conditions."

Plants do that routinely, too. Also, Lobsters and Sequoias (amongst others) are "immortal". The problem is that the mechanisms involved are not terribly easy to transfer to humans, as there's a very very very fragile equilibrium between cell differentiation and proliferation. Disturbing this balance leads to invasive cancers and/or teratomes in the adult (or degenerative diseases when altered the other way round). During the developmental stages, it leads to incorrect morphogenesis and organogenesis (and natural abortion) because these processes rely heavily on the cell death/proliferation/differentiation balance. It would appear that this balance is regulated somewhat differently in the petunia, the lobster, the jellyfish and pig (sorry, Man). Plants are not really comparable to animals to this regard, but the main difference between jellyfish and man might well be evolutionary complexity (after all, early human and cow embryos have all these features. We just loose them as our body complexifies).

But fear not, regenerative therapies are being investigated quite heavily. What do you think stem cell research is used for?

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Boffin

@Culinary angle?

A little soy sauce, vinegar, cucumber and a dash of cayenne pepper for the bath of the jellies. If they undergo a youthful transmogrification while marinating, hit the little buggers with some high octane saki and ginger. Yum!

Of course this assumes you did the whole salt preservation, reconstitution, yadda yadda. I suppose you could also do an alternate preparation where it is smoked and cured instead of salted, jelly bacon anyone?

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Alert

I want

to suck a few million of these into the cooling ponds of a nuclear reactor, so that they may mutate as quickly as they metamorphose. Soon they will become my Undying Hydronaut Legions of Darkness, with which I shall conquer all the world's oceans!

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Alert

Aliens!

- Arnold Rimmer

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Anonymous Coward

Let them swim up the Clyde

then we'll know how they taste - deep fryed in batter that is

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Alien

Oh dear...

The levels of erudition being displayed are depressingly predictable - blobby things from the sea = Dr Who. Surely this is a time to dig out the Lovecraft, because without doubt, this loathsome, leprous jelly is the first wave sent by the dread Lord Cthulhu, and soon we will all be either dead, or insane...or, if you're an MP, both.

Cthulhu fhtagn, just in case...

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Stop

Eaten

Surely, once eaten, digested and passed unceremoniously through the digestive tract of any dog, frog or Japanese chef who would dare to eat one of these impossoblobs, the damn things would just remorph themselves back into jellyfish and then feed on the host poo!

Worse still, what if they decide to clone themselves while in the stomach!! EW!

I think I'll pass on that <gag!>

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@Fluffykins

Genius.

Mine is on the other side of the planet. That's only just far enough.

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@ "Let them swim up the Clyde"

You would actually eat something that came out of the Clyde? Christ.

But you could be onto something; maybe a swim up there could be the one thing that can kill these feckers.

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funny...

----

blobby things from the sea = Dr Who. Surely this is a time to dig out the Lovecraft

----

I was thinking Coleridge:

"The many men so beautiful

And they all dead did lie!

And a million million slimy things

Liv'd on -- and so did I."

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Now we can get to work...

...on the oft-put off Common Task of resurrecting the dead, making them immortal, and settling them on other planets: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikolai_Fyodorovich_Fyodorov#Restoring_life_and_making_it_infinite

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Alien

@ Barney Carroll (just coz I'm bored)

"resurrecting the dead, making them immortal, and settling them on other planets"

Mr "Fyodo" was working under the assumption that soul (mind) is a "physical" * autonomous entity.

Doesn't fit very well with the current knowledge on neuron networks. With up-to-date info on genetics and brain physiology, he would have trouble answering this simple question: How come twins have different personalities? (he foresaw the problem but did not know that true twins are actually clones)

He most probably would have to revise his theories...

On the other hand, his (and others') theories on survival through your offspring still live... just not in the "individual" or "identity" dimension, more on the "gene" scale... After all, are we not all just puppets in the hands of the genes we carry? They're doing all they can to force us into spreading them. Selfish buggers.

* in its own dimension, that is.

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PS (Nikolai F Fyodorov theories)

Of course, the "selfish gene" theory relies exclusively on an Evolution base. NFF, being the christian nutter he was, could have ignored the facts and carried on with his dumb views... he was kinda keen on science though*, so the bets are on!

* He wasn't raised in Arkansas

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Unhappy

Invasion?

Isn't this the plot from 'Invasion', not that we'll know because the damn Americans cancelled it after two seasons.

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Boffin

I think the Dr. Who ref...

...was referring to the regenerative ability.

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Pirate

Unintended Side Effect Review

"Suggested companion titles: Pestilence Quarterly, the Unfortunate Occurrence Review and Which Disaster? magazine."

jolly roger for those who highjacked the credit markets.

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