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 trophectoderm—the tissue that nourishes the embryo and ultimately contributes to placenta formation—was 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 |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )
Related News Stories -
MC10 Electronics Skin Stickers
'Every diaper... a fine copper wire…' - David H. Keller, 1928.
EDSAP Wearable Stroke Detection
'His Altec cephalochromoscope, around which he had built the pleasure part of his schedule...'- Philip K. Dick, 1977.
In Vivo Micromotors Powered By Stomach Acid
First in vivo study of artificial micromotors.
Patient Walks Out With Fully Artificial Heart
'The throb of the robot pump gave him confidence...'- Philip K. Dick, 1960.
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.
eMotionButterfly Ultralight Robot From Festo
'Artificial butterflies darted along invisible beams...'
Graphene Cytobot - Cyborg Bacterial Spores May Help Astronauts
'[It] had not yet objected to being made over into a portion of an electronic system... '
XM82 Personal Flamethrower Now In Development
'Skeletons in tatters. Burned by a flesh gun'
Delightful Plen2 Mirror Robot - The Anti-Terminator
Time for fun, Will Robinson!
LiquiGlide Will Be Everywhere
'They poured the remnants of eggs out of their frictionless cups...'
US Customs Now Doing Facial Recognition At DC Airport
Are you who you say you are?
How Many Systems In That Galactic Empire Now?
'An Empire to twenty million stellar systems...'
Petman Robot Pushes Itself To The Limit
'There was the butler robot, hard at work, his copper face expressionless...'
Coleus LED 'Skylight' Dispenses Natural Sunlight Indoors
'How do they work it so that the sky is visible at every level of the city?'
UR3 Robot At Work On Copies Of Itself
'I don't mean that you should construct this ultra-microrobot with your own fingers, of course...'
3D Printing 'Terminator T-1000-Style'
Not quite 'a mimetic polyalloy...'
Norlin Shoe Drone Robot UAV In-Store Delivery Thing
'Robot-salesmen were everywhere, gesturing, pleading, shrilling.'
Bridge-MINDER Repair Robot
'The repair robots had started out on their rounds...'
Super Ball Bot Tensegrity Robot For Solar System Exploration
'Each leg in turn acted as a pivot around which the creature whirled its body...'
iSkin On-Body Touch Sensors
'Three rows of four colored dots appeared on the heel of my left hand.'
Britain To Build Spaceport, First In Europe
'The space-ports at the three great cities...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories