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Nems Hold the secret to immortality ?


LPS-Crazy

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I read in a Fish magazine once that nems really do not have a life span as we know it, something to do with cell genrtatiom. Carbon dating of some wild nems puts them at a age well over 500 years.

 

It went on to say that size wasnt always a key factor in age. It stated that some smaller nems of the same species carbon dated out older than much larger nems of the same species.

 

Basically it said that the nem in your tank, even a small one could be 100's of years old,

 

Just wanted your views on this interesting topic.

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Yeah really, a nem chillin out on the reef for a few hundred years gets collected and is turned into a milkshake by some noobs powerhead :D

 

hahahah, I wonder how old mine is. :huh:

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Yeah really, a nem chillin out on the reef for a few hundred years gets collected and is turned into a milkshake by some noobs powerhead :D

 

 

I think NOOB would be defined as anyone that has been reefing less than HalfLife of the creature... I know plenty of 10-15 year aquarists that have created NemShake

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Do you remember the magazine name and date? Not to get too technical, but I've been trying to (not that rigorously) search for information on telomeres in corals and their kin (anemones). Telomeres are like buffer zones that cap both ends of DNA that protect it from the imperfections of DNA duplication (aka growth and aging); DNA is shortened and damaged each time it is duplicated (when an animal grows), but the telomeres take the damage instead, protecting the main trunk of the DNA. This actually sets a finite lifespan for animals like us since the telomeres don't last forever (the Hayflick Limit) and the DNA starts to get critically damaged.

 

Certain things like bacteria and cancer cells (like the HeLa cells Yossarian mentioned) have known ways of working around this limitation and continue growing to the end of time, but I've wondered what was known about corals and anemones since with all their fragging and budding and growing suggests that they potentially have enormous lifespans or even immortality.

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Nems never die of natural causes.. they grow and grow until they get big enough to split. Then there are 2 of that age that repeat the cycle over and over.

 

Pretty amazing.

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