Lobster. The Fountain of Youth?

Lobster. The Fountain of Youth?

Maine 2012 063

Maine. Lobsters are harvested in Maine by traps set in the coastal waters with each trap attached to a floating buoy. Looking closely at the photo, you notice the buoys all have different color schemes and striping. That’s because each lobster fisherman has his/her own colored buoy which is helpful when you have up to 800 lobster traps (the maximum allowed by law) attached to your buoys.

With over 3 million buoys in Maine waters alone, a whopping 126 million pounds of lobster was harvested in 2012. Just a few hundred years ago, lobster were used as fertilizer and considered a poverty food. Today they are not only expensive, but scientists are finding lobsters have some very interesting anti aging properties. Move over Botox!

Lobsters apparently age very slowly, if at all. An enzyme named telomerase is responsible which repairs the lobster’s DNA. As a result of this enzyme, it is possible (although improbable) they could live forever if not injured or captured. Pretty cool if you are a lobster.

Just last year, scientists figured out how to tell a lobster’s age by the number of rings in its eyestalk (the stalk connected to the eyeball). With research continuing on this important enzyme, we will be hearing more about it. Who knows, a drink called the fountain of youth made with lobster bits may be on the horizon. Yum!