Jellyfish have fascinated people all over the world for centuries. They are known for their sting and potential danger, but their umbrella-shaped bodies are also recognized by most everyone, as is their beautiful and flowing tentacles. Some are smaller than a fingertip, and others are larger than a human.
Sea Jellies’ Secrets
It’s impressive that box jellyfish can administer enough venom with one sting to kill a human in three minutes. But we told that a jellyfish could save thousands of people across the globe; that there was something about jellyfish that could hold the key to curing cancer?
Super Illumination and Super Potential
There are two types of jellyfishes’ that are in connection to cancer treatment. Several scientists focus on the idea of jellyfish being able to cure cancer, while others focus on the theory of some part of a jellyfish being able to detect or diagnose cancer in a human. One idea for detecting cancer is to use proteins that are found in luminous jellyfish cells and put them into infected human cells. After the tissue is illuminated, a special camera is used to find the light that the proteins are making, in turn finding cancer in the body.
The protein that allows jellyfish to glow is called green fluorescent protein, or GFP. It bonds to guanosine triphosphate, or GTP, which is a protein that is abundant in the human body and can be responsible for cells turning cancerous. However, the green light is often absorbed, so scientists have been altering the color to red. As for curing cancer, several types of jellyfish have compounds with antitumor and immunostimulating properties that have the potential to stop the spread of harmful and cancerous tumors.
Scientists believe these compounds may be able to be used in new drugs and medications. Another way that jellyfish can be used to cure cancer is certain species’ ability to revert themselves to a younger form when they are faced with hard circumstances. Researchers are fascinated with the opportunity of this property being available to humans and being able to revert to a stage before cancer can spread.
As science and technology continue to develop, more research and experiments will be needed to make further advancements in this field. There are some technological and biological concerns presently that are stalling discoveries. One example is that the cameras that are used to view the illumination of the GFP inside the body. They are in short supply; they have been manufacturing, these camera’s but they are expensive to make.
Other concerns arise about how the toxins and biological properties of the jellyfish could harm humans. Jellyfish are widely known for their sting and potentially lethal abilities, and medical experts are naturally worried about how those can affect the human body. Doctors and scientists have been a cure for cancer for many decades. These fantastic sea creatures may be that the secret to it resides with one of the ocean’s most mysterious and fascinating creatures.
Research scientists and medical experts are planning to continue their research and develop their ideas to finalize treatment plans, some of which could be ready in as little as five years, to save hundreds of lives that are lost to cancer each year.