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I had to do a little bit of research on this one (not my expertise).
Apparently yes, humans lose 1-2% of bone mass per month in microgravity according to this Sci Am article.
I don't think there have been any vertebrates able to go through the full reproductive cycle in space.
- In a Chinese experiment onboard the Shijian-10 uncrewed capsule for a few days in 2016, mouse embryos kept developing. But these were already fertilized eggs when they were launched and did not go all the way to birth during the few days of the flight. Here are a popular article and a 2018 presentation to the US National Academies that includes a photo of ....
- Mice were born on Earth from sperm stored on the International Space Station for 9 months. This article goes into the history of trying to mate mice in space and this scientific paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences describes the results: PNAS-mice.pdf.
- My speculation about what would happen to the offspring of mice having lost bone and reproduced in microgravity: it looks like the expression of genes controlling the formation and destruction of bone cells changes in microgravity, i.e. these genes are muted. Here is an open-access scientific paper about this. But that would suggest these genes are still passed on to the next generation. Likely, in microgravity the offspring would still have less bone (muted gene expression), but I'd suspect that if the offspring were placed under gravity (by e.g. landing on a planet or spinning the Space Station), the bone would grow back because the genes would still be present. According to the article above, it's only the load-bearing bones that lose mass in microgravity, the others are not affected.
I hope this helps!
Hi Kyle. This is a unique question. I would guess as technology develops, artificial gravity will supplement development of new babies' bones in space. Also I remember seeing videos of astronauts wearing weights will exercising in International Space Station. What do you think? Does that answer your question? If not please tell me so I can do some more research. Okay?
I have a rather small question. I am a Computational Biologist from India. I plan to work on the use of probiotics in space. As in which one would the best for astronauts. So, for that a series of experiments are to be designed for simulating the space like environment where i can test the probiotics. The question is, will this work be considered as a work in astrobiology ? Or astrobiology strictly confines to the study of extremophiles that can survive beyond the atmosphere of earth ? If the answer is yes, then I would pitch in some more questions related to it.
I think it depends on what space agency you go to in order to fly your experiment. I can speak only about how it works for NASA. What is considered astrobiology research in the United States focuses on life's potential to emerge in, adapt to, cope with, and interact with natural (planetary) environments. The research you're suggesting would be considered instead Space Biology. In the US, this is more the human spaceflight side of NASA (rather than the fundamental science side that manages astrobiology research). You can find the description of this program here.
Hi Datta. I think that is a very interesting question. I say you should just develop the idea and let the classification be determined by your peers later on.
That's all that comes to mind now,
any astrobio clubs in india?
There is indeed a growing astrobiology community in India. it's very exciting. I would recommend visiting these people: http://astrobiologyindia.in/. They may be able to connect you with professional organizations. Do you want to become an astrobiologist, or are you already working in the field and want to meet colleagues?
Amity University has a brand new Center for Excellence in Astrobiology. This guy is the director:
You can also check out this group:
I was wondering what everyone thought about building skyscrapers under water? Its like a ice cube in water. The volume of water taken out of the ocean should equal the volume of structure being put in. Does weight in kg matter? Meaning if you have two structures or skyscrapers one much heavier than the other, would you still extract the same volume for both? Just wondering and racking my brain over this.
That's an interesting question. One thing you could do to see an answer would be to take a small fish tank and then measure the volumes of water displaced by some different objects. You should see that the displaced volume is independent of the mass of the object doing the displacing. (However, due to Archimedes Principle, the object with less mass also has more buoyant force pushing it back up out of the water! - This is why tanker ships have to be built to rise up and down in the water depending on how much cargo they have onboard).
Thanks for the info. I never heard of buoyancy principle before. I will file that away in my archive of ideas. I also plan on trying out the experiment.
For living underwater, maybe we can affect the gene expression of humans so they can transform into mermaids underwater and transform back into humans when they go out of the water like the Little Mermaid. Or what about Water World where the male protagonist had gills and webbed feet. I know that may sound far fetched but genes are a language and if we master it, anything is possible.