Scientists have just discovered that a jellyfish-like parasite doesn’t have a mitochondrial genome – the first multicellular organism known to have this absence. That means it doesn’t breathe; in fact, it lives its life completely free of oxygen dependency.
This discovery isn’t just changing our understanding of how life can work here on Earth – it could also have implications for the search for extraterrestrial life.
Exactly how it survives is still something of a mystery. It could be leeching adenosine triphosphate from its host, but that’s yet to be determined.
The research has been published in PNAS.