Jelly Fish- Underestimated organism of Ocean
Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science,
Kalinga University, Naya Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India-492101
Jellyfish are the most commonly found organism in marine habitat. They have accommodated themselves in all oceans across the globe. Their jelly like body is one of the main reason of worldwide distribution. They have been on earth since last 500 million years ago and have survived the past mass extinction events that have wiped out Dinosaurs from the earth.
Jellyfishes have evolved some unique capabilities like supernatural powers. Bio-luminescent display of Comb Jellies, producing 4 lakhs young ones at time by large Moon jellyfish and photosynthetic ability in a tropical species are some of the exceptional properties of this group. During unfavorable conditions some species have the control reversing their developmental stages and turn back into the juvenile stage.
They have been an important ecological and economical issue for mankind. They have been responsible for overcrowding of fish ponds, clogging power station cooling pipes, damaging fishing nets etc. They have stings which can cause anaphylaxis (severe allergic reactions) and sometimes can be lethal. Medical collagen extracted from Jellyfishes, are used in medical field for wound dressing and for surgery. They are also part of food sources in some parts of eastern part of Asian continent.
The most important use of Jellyfish for human is in the form of Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP). Scientists have been extensively using GFP for genetically and molecular studies. Nearly 30000 medical studies across the globe has utilized GFP in Alzheimer and HIV disease. Nobel prize in Chemistry was awarded in 2008 for the synthesis of GFP. Still many thing are to be discovered associated to these organisms.
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