THE SECRET OF IMMORTALITY IS…A JELLYFISH
The key to everlasting life, or the cure for cancer, may come from a species known as the immortal jellyfish. It’s tiny, and not enough scientists want to study it, but it turns out to have an amazing trait: It can entirely regenerate, and in a strange way, self replicate, too. As if that’s not awesome enough, the self-replication is like aging in reverse — like a chicken reverting to egg form, then rebirthing itself. Strangely though, despite this seeming miracle and how little is known about how it works, science has put barely any money to understand it. Even grave injury or great age doesn’t kill it. And yet another species, called the hydra, is comprised almost entirely of stem cells, which means that the power of endless life is its alone in the known universe. What isn’t known? Practically everything, including how the creatures’ ability to turn cells on and off for rehabilitation works. But understanding that mechanism may mean everything — it could, finally, tell us how cancer works, and how to turn it off in human beings. Via New York Times.
KELLY SLATER IN TRADEMARK FIGHT
World champion pro surfer Kelly Slater may have to appear in a California courtroom over a trademark dispute involving him and surfwear company Quiksilver. Rival New York apparel maker World Marketing alleges Slater’s brand, VSTR, which launched in January, violates a trademark it had for its Visitor apparel line. Quiksilver has claimed VSTR was based on the initials for “visiting, surfing, traveling, and responsibility,” and Slater has said in interviews the name was inspired by the word “visitor.” World Marketing has owned a “Visitor” trademark since 1998, and in March the company sent Quiksilver a cease-and-desist letter. World Marketing has countersued and the whole matter is surely headed for a courtroom, which likely will require Slater to testify. Via NY Post.
VISITING EVERY NATION ON EARTH — EVEN NORTH KOREA
It took Graham Hughes almost four years, but after reaching the world’s newest country, South Sudan, the U.K. native claims to be the first person to have visited every sovereign nation on the globe without flying. The 201 countries include Kosovo, Vatican City, Western Sahara, North Korea, and even war-torn countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia. Of the latter he said it was no big deal since nations at war tend to have few border controls. Hughes based his journey on four key rules: He could not fly, must not drive his own transport, must take “scheduled ground transport,” and to qualify as a visit to a country he “must step foot on dry land.” The toughest part: getting to tiny island nations — his journey included “four days crossing open ocean in a leaky wooden boat to reach Cape Verde,” but he was also “imprisoned for a week in Congo and was arrested attempting to sneak into Russia.” Via The Age.
MT. HOOD SUED OVER DEATH OF A SNOWBOARDER
A family whose 17-year-old daughter died in a snowboarding accident in January filed suit against Mt. Hood Skibowl Wednesday. The lawsuit claims that the Dog Leg Trail is much harder than the blue rating on the trail map — and the family is also seeking over $500,000 in damages. According to the suit there wasn’t enough effort put into finding Taylur DeWolf the day she went missing. Harry DeWolf, father of Taylur, says that the run where his daughter ran off the trail and struck a tree lacked proper safety netting. DeWolf said he’s reached out to Skibowl officials regarding details of her accident but has been stymied in his requests. An attorney for Skibowl released a statement saying the Dog Leg Trail is appropriately designated and no similar incident has ever occurred at the location. The statement also said there was an immediate and thorough search for Taylur DeWolf. Via OPB.