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Author Topic: How Would It Be To Live Without Light ?  (Read 16808 times)

Offline neilep

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How Would It Be To Live Without Light ?
« on: 04/11/2008 22:39:00 »
Wocha Peeps,

How are ewe ?



See this dark place ?



Hmmmmm....solemn !....though there is a soupcon of light !


How would it be to live without natural light ?...setting aside the effect on vegetation and for humoring me sake, can we assume a constant supply of food and water ?....What symptoms would one expect to exhibit if one was forced to live without natural light ?....would someone born into that environment adapt ?..would it be terminal ? change in life-span ?



whajafink ?



Neil
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Offline Make it Lady

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« Reply #1 on: 04/11/2008 23:15:51 »
We would all get rickets and depression. Sleep patterns would go mental but you wouldn't notice much on that front. Haven't people been tortured before now by light deprivation. I do think that you would go mental first before you would be physically ill.
 

Offline RD

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« Reply #2 on: 05/11/2008 00:56:26 »
Quote
A key result from the isolation chamber experiments [no light] was that the circadian clock runs slow, taking about 25 hours to complete its cycle. Obviously, a 25-hour body clock would be quite useless as a predictor of daily environmental change, and so the search for zeitgebers began.

www.newscientist.com
« Last Edit: 05/11/2008 01:11:41 by RD »
 

Offline RD

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How Would It Be To Live Without Light ?
« Reply #3 on: 05/11/2008 01:05:03 »
The ecosystems around hydrothermal vents on the sea floor, ("black smokers"), have adapted to life without light...

Quote
Although life is very sparse at these depths, black smokers are the center of entire ecosystems. Sunlight is nonexistent, so many organisms such as archaea and extremophiles convert the heat, methane, and sulfur compounds provided by black smokers into energy through a process called chemosynthesis. More complex life forms like clams and tubeworms feed on these organisms. The organisms at the base of the food chain also deposit minerals into the base of the black smoker, therefore completing the life cycle.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_smoker
« Last Edit: 05/11/2008 01:13:11 by RD »
 

Offline blaze

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How Would It Be To Live Without Light ?
« Reply #4 on: 05/11/2008 01:07:57 »
Since God is light and we can't live without Him, we couldn't live without light.
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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« Reply #5 on: 05/11/2008 09:55:28 »
I'm living without him just fine.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #6 on: 05/11/2008 18:50:18 »
I'm amused to think that God only travels in straight lines; I though He moved in a mysterious way.
Anyway, enough of the fairy tales.
 
Isn't the answer "I don't know, but I bet the people from the North of Canada and Scandanavia do." because there's not a lot of natural light there for quite a lot of the time.
 

Offline Make it Lady

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« Reply #7 on: 05/11/2008 18:53:17 »
And they get very depressed.
 

Offline Make it Lady

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« Reply #8 on: 05/11/2008 19:02:23 »
This is what happens with sensory deprivation. A bit more extreme, I know, but interesting.

QUOTE: CIA torture manual.
For particularly rapid results, the manual endorses the use of a "cell which has no light (or weak artificial light which never varies), which is sound-proofed, in which odors are eliminated, etc." Following that plan, the manual says, "induces stress; the stress becomes unbearable for most subjects." The manual adds, "The subject has a growing need for physical and social stimuli; and some subjects progressively lose touch with reality, focus inwardly, and produce delusions, hallucinations, and other pathological effects."
 

Offline that mad man

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How Would It Be To Live Without Light ?
« Reply #9 on: 05/11/2008 19:36:20 »
Unfortunately God makes blind people also and by that criteria they should all be depressed and have rickets. The few blind people that I know have/show no symptoms.

The answer I think is yes it is possible to live without natural light providing that substitute artificial lighting is provided. There are many indoor crops grown under artificial conditions and they grow well. Many deep cave animals also survive in complete darkness and now have no eyes as they have adapted to their situation.

The main problem I see is that it would be a very cold planet and with little or no weather patterns. In that situation the supply of fresh water could be a problem as no rain will fall but, the seawater if not frozen could be desalinated.

Its not a place that I would want to live though!
 

Offline Don_1

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« Reply #10 on: 06/11/2008 09:18:29 »
Since God is light and we can't live without Him, we couldn't live without light.

So when there is an eclipse, has God popped down to the corner shop for a packet of fags?

I'm living without him just fine.

Me too.

Unfortunately God makes blind people also and by that criteria they should all be depressed and have rickets. The few blind people that I know have/show no symptoms.

That's because they can't see the light (no pun intended), but it is there all the same.


The answer I think is yes it is possible to live without natural light providing that substitute artificial lighting is provided. There are many indoor crops grown under artificial conditions and they grow well. Many deep cave animals also survive in complete darkness and now have no eyes as they have adapted to their situation.

Plants and animals which live in these permanently dark places rely on other plants, insects and animals either directly or indirectly.

For example, insects which inhabit cave floors and feed on the bodies of bats which fall to the floor of the cave. Even if these bats do not see the sun themselves, they rely on fruit, grown in sunlight, or insects which are active at twilight, or are themselves reliant on leaves grown in sunlight.

No, I do not think life could be supported without light.
 

Offline dentstudent

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How Would It Be To Live Without Light ?
« Reply #11 on: 06/11/2008 09:44:58 »
The ecosystems around hydrothermal vents on the sea floor, ("black smokers"), have adapted to life without light...

Quote
Although life is very sparse at these depths, black smokers are the center of entire ecosystems. Sunlight is nonexistent, so many organisms — such as archaea and extremophiles — convert the heat, methane, and sulfur compounds provided by black smokers into energy through a process called chemosynthesis. More complex life forms like clams and tubeworms feed on these organisms. The organisms at the base of the food chain also deposit minerals into the base of the black smoker, therefore completing the life cycle.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_smoker

I wonder if there was any point in their evolution where light played a role, but which effect has now become redundant? My point is, is the entire course of their evolution restricted to this non-sunlight domain, or are these creatures evolutions of animals that were once light-dependent, but have now become adapted to receiving energy from a different source. If light was entirely missing, it may be that these creatures could not have evolved at all.
 

Offline Don_1

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« Reply #12 on: 06/11/2008 10:34:32 »
I think you are right in your supposition dentstudent. These permanent cave dwellers do have evolutionary links to daylight species. As for the deep oceanic creatures, I'm not so sure. Some may be the larvae of creatures which will eventually rise to waters where some sunlight still manages to penetrate. But they do still live on the bodies of dead fish and plants (and excrement) which sink to the depths of the ocean.
 

Offline dentstudent

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How Would It Be To Live Without Light ?
« Reply #13 on: 06/11/2008 11:42:34 »
There are also the bacteria that live on the energy released by radiation - sorry for being vague....I'll see if I can find anything further.
 

Offline dentstudent

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« Reply #14 on: 06/11/2008 11:53:35 »
Here...

"Bacteria Use Radioactive Uranium To Convert Water Molecules To Useable Energy"

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061019192814.htm
 

Offline RD

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« Reply #15 on: 07/11/2008 19:55:27 »
Quote
It's generally surprising to folks to discover that not all autotrophs are photosynthesizers. Over the last few decades, the importance of chemosynthesis has become increasingly obvious. We still don't know just how significant chemosynthesis is in the biosphere overall, but we do know that it is important. Chemosynthesizers are organisms which can produce carbohydrates by using chemical energy, rather than light energy. There was a time when a biology teacher could say with confidence that all ecosystems on Earth ultimately depended on light energy. We now know that this isn't true. Entire ecosystems exist along deep, midoceanic ridge zones supported not by photosynthesis, but by chemosynthesis. None of the energy in these ecosystems comes from light. There is a very interesting and reasonably well supported suggestion that the earliest life forms on the planet may have arisen in environments like these deep sea vent regions.
http://www.cod.edu/people/faculty/fancher/Energy.htm

 

Offline Don_1

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« Reply #16 on: 07/11/2008 20:03:06 »
Although these organisms may not need exposure to light, I would still suggest that they are still dependant on food sources which have been exposed to light, whether directly or indirectly.
« Last Edit: 07/11/2008 20:05:20 by Don_1 »
 

Offline RD

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« Reply #17 on: 07/11/2008 20:22:25 »
Sunlight not required, not even "indirectly"...

Quote
Chemosynthesis is the biological conversion of one or more carbon molecules (usually carbon dioxide or methane) and nutrients into organic matter using the oxidation of inorganic molecules (e.g. hydrogen gas, hydrogen sulfide) or methane as a source of energy, rather than sunlight, as in photosynthesis. Large populations of animals can be supported by chemosynthetic primary production at hydrothermal vents...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemosynthesis
 

Offline Don_1

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« Reply #18 on: 09/11/2008 11:05:23 »
Fair enough RD, I accept this and reverse my original statement.

.thgil tuohtiw detroppus eb dluoc efil kniht ton od I ,oN.


 

Offline iko

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« Reply #19 on: 09/11/2008 11:14:01 »
I'm living without him just fine.

You young lucky human!




Vitamin D Deficiency Is Associated With Low Mood
 and Worse Cognitive Performance in Older Adults.

Wilkins CH, Sheline YI, Roe CM, Birge SJ, Morris JC.

Dept.Med.Div.Geriatrics and Nutritional Science, Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, the Dept.Psychiatry, Dept.Neurol., and the Div.Biostatistics, Washington Univ.School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO.

Background: Vitamin D deficiency is common in older adults and has been implicated in psychiatric and neurologic disorders. This study examined the relationship among vitamin D status, cognitive performance, mood, and physical performance in older adults.

Methods: A cross-sectional group of 80 participants, 40 with mild Alzheimer disease (AD) and 40 nondemented persons, were selected from a longitudinal study of memory and aging. Cognitive function was assessed using the Short Blessed Test (SBT), Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE), Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR; a higher Sum of Boxes score indicates greater dementia severity), and a factor score from a neuropsychometric battery; mood was assessed using clinician's diagnosis and the depression symptoms inventory. The Physical Performance Test (PPT) was used to measure functional status. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were measured for all participants.

Results: The mean vitamin D level in the total sample was 18.58 ng/mL (standard deviation: 7.59); 58% of the participants had abnormally low vitamin D levels defined as less than 20 ng/mL. After adjusting for age, race, gender, and season of vitamin D determination, vitamin D deficiency was associated with presence of an active mood disorder (odds ratio: 11.69, 95% confidence interval: 2.04-66.86; Wald chi(2) = 7.66, df = 2, p = 0.022). Using the same covariates in a linear regression model, vitamin D deficiency was associated with worse performance on the SBT (F = 5.22, df = [2, 77], p = 0.044) and higher CDR Sum of Box scores (F = 3.20, df = [2, 77], p = 0.047) in the vitamin D-deficient group. There was no difference in performance on the MMSE, PPT, or factor scores between the vitamin D groups.

Conclusions: In a cross-section of older adults, vitamin D deficiency was associated with low mood and with impairment on two of four measures of cognitive performance.

Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2006 Dec;14(12):1032-1040.






« Last Edit: 09/11/2008 13:59:30 by iko »
 

Offline RD

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« Reply #20 on: 09/11/2008 15:07:48 »
The association with low levels of vitamin D with increased levels of dementia could be because the more severely demented persons may not wish to go, or may not be permitted to go outdoors (in sunlight) because they wander off and get lost. This would result in the more severely demented having less vitamin D due to less sun exposure.
« Last Edit: 09/11/2008 15:54:59 by RD »
 

Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #21 on: 09/11/2008 15:50:41 »
It seems to me that you would need to check that the diets of the two groups (suffering from dementia and not doing) were similar before you could make any progress attributing cause and effect here.
The association between Vit D and dementia is, no doubt, just what that study says, but is it because people with low Vit. D levels become demented or is it that demented people don't get enough vit D from their diet or, as RD suggests, from sunlight.
 

Offline Make it Lady

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« Reply #22 on: 09/11/2008 22:13:34 »
Sorry just wandered onto this thread in my nighty. I was looking for another thread but got lost.
I think diet and dementia should have loads of research money thrown at it.

I read that children are going through pubity earlier because they don't go outside much. It has something to do with light but can't remember what. Dementia strikes again.
 

Offline RD

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« Reply #23 on: 10/11/2008 00:11:02 »
I read that children are going through pubity earlier because they don't go outside much.

They don't go outside to play/exercise, consequently become obese which can cause early puberty in girls...

Quote
Childhood obesity brings early puberty for girls
12:41 05 March 2007
NewScientist.com news service
Phil McKenna
 
Increasing rates of childhood obesity may be responsible for a dramatic increase in early-onset puberty in girls, new research suggests.

Obese girls, defined as at least 10 kilograms (22 pounds) overweight, had an 80% chance of developing breasts before their ninth birthday and starting menstruation before age 12 the western average for menstruation is about 12.7 years. Early-onset puberty could have serious health and social consequences, experts say, including increased incidence of teenage depression and of cancer in later life.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11307-childhood-obesity-brings-early-puberty-for-girls.html
« Last Edit: 10/11/2008 00:12:35 by RD »
 

Offline that mad man

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« Reply #24 on: 10/11/2008 17:16:01 »
Early puberty in girls is not that common, the average age has not changed much over centuries. It was common in the past for females to wed at around 13 years of age as they were no longer classed as children. The biblical Mary was one such person and in some eastern countries in particular the practice is still carried out and legal.

I think I'm also correct in saying that puberty in females ends when menstruation starts as they are then classed as mature and can conceive.

Unfortunately obesity can affect the hormones giving rise to many problems.
 

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« Reply #24 on: 10/11/2008 17:16:01 »

 

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