Can Humans Reproduce In Zero-Gravity?

New research details biological difficulties in mammalian reproduction and development in space. Teruhiko Wakayama and his colleagues at the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe used a 3D clinostat to conduct experiments with mouse sperm and ova in a microgravity environment.


( The 3D clinostat apparatus )

The 3D clinostat apparatus uses rotation in all three dimensions to enable cell culture experiments under conditions that recreate zero-gravity. This allows research on the earliest stages of embryonic development in an environment that simulates space travel.

They performed in vitro fertilization (IVF) experiments with mouse sperm and ova, both within the clinostat and at regular gravity (1G), and determine that microgravity had minimal effects on fertilization. It may prove detrimental to subsequent development, however. Microgravity-cultured embryos successfully reached the two-cell stage and yielded viable offspring upon implantation into female mice, but at a significantly lower rate than their 1G counterparts. The researchers observed more severe negative effects when embryos were transplanted following longer culture periods in the clinostat.

Microgravity led to an overall reduction in the rate of blastocyst formation after 96 hours of culture, and closer examination of these blastocysts revealed that the differentiation of embryonic cells into trophectodermóthe tissue that nourishes the embryo and ultimately contributes to placenta formationówas markedly impaired.

This finding casts into doubt the science fictional notion that human beings can survive in zero gravity or in the microgravity environment of large asteroids (Belters, I'm talking to you!).

From Riken Research via Medgadget.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/27/2009)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )

Related News Stories - (" Medical ")

Drug Creates Real Melanin Tan
I've used them all my life...

Medical Drones Hover Like Angels Near You
'The death-reversal equipment is on its way...'- Frederk Pohl, 1965.

Vaccine Blocks Heroin High
'You're biochemically incapable of getting off...' - William Gibson, 1985.

Ambrosia Start-Up Offers New Blood For Old 'Caper'
'It consists largely in replacing the entire blood tissue in an old person with new, young blood...' - Robert Heinlein, 1941.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

TALOS Exoskeleton Development Proceeding
'Suited up, you look like a big steel gorilla...'

Autonomous Robots Navigate Like Rats
'Out of warrens in the wall, tiny robot mice darted.'

SINTEF Robot Cleans Solar Panels
'The window cleaners, with large padded feet...'

Pangorin Restaurant Service Robots
What'll you have? Jawa juice?

Drug Creates Real Melanin Tan
I've used them all my life...

Medical Drones Hover Like Angels Near You
'The death-reversal equipment is on its way...'

SkEye Amazing Israeli Gigapixel Drone
'An eye that could not only see, but fly...'

How Rude! DARPA Wants Robots To Behave More Like Threepio
'Do I know protocol? Why, it's my primary function.'

'Liquid Light' Flows Around Corners
Light as a superfluid.

Unrolling The Filmy Materials Of Space Tech
'When unfolded and unrolled... it became a tough, gleaming film.'

Buddy Companion Robot Your Bulbous Friend
'Nanny was built in the shape of a sphere, a large metal sphere, flattened on the bottom...'

Poli-X1 Prototype Bee Pollinator
Is there anything drones can't do?

Bake in Space Bake-Off... In Space!
'A joyous condition commenced for the cook in the electric kitchen...'

DeepMind AI Baffled By Homer Simpson, Needs Human Help
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off...'

Does Earth's Middle Mantle Hold Oceans Of Water?
Al Gore, you have no idea.

Vaccine Blocks Heroin High
'You're biochemically incapable of getting off...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.