The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Do human reproductive cells deteriorate when vitrification occurs in zero g?  (Read 7468 times)

Offline Airthumbs

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 958
  • Personal Text
    • View Profile
This I feel is an important question as it appears that sperm count drops significantly with exposure to zero gravity and also the egg producing ovary cells seem to waste away. (http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-01-sex-space-houston-problem.html)


 

Offline yor_on

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 11978
  • Thanked: 4 times
  • (Ah, yes:) *a table is always good to hide under*
    • View Profile
We're made for gravity I guess?
 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Vitrification eh? Well, at least it would tend to validate the phrase

"He must have pretty big stones to try something like that."

« Last Edit: 08/01/2011 05:18:15 by Geezer »
 

Offline Airthumbs

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 958
  • Personal Text
    • View Profile
Geezer, I am absolutley p*s*ing myself laughing on that link to youtube.  Dam!  I can't find the link to where I got that new technique from for storing eggs and sperm now, but it is supposed to be a lot more effective then deep-freezing, apparently!

Here is one link but it is not the one I originally saw, http://scialert.net/fulltext/?doi=jms.2009.30.35

Yor_on, like that video not the norm for me I must admit, I will wait until 8am and then listen to it a bit louder me thinks.  I take it whoever decided to call this process vitrification does not know about the effects of a Medusa?
 

Offline RD

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8126
  • Thanked: 53 times
    • View Profile
Apparently sex in space will involve bondage ...

Quote
The 2suit is equipped to fasten to a stable surface. The roominess within the garment is adjustable from within. It also is lined with inner harnesses for optional use that can regulate the garment to adjust proximity of various points of the bodies to one another. A quick-disrobe function removes the garments, optionally leaving harnesses in place for stabilization to a static surface.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2suit#Design
« Last Edit: 08/01/2011 06:00:19 by RD »
 

Offline Airthumbs

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 958
  • Personal Text
    • View Profile
RD, I heard about that suit!  But if your sperm count is low and the eggs are not being produced, then it really does seem a little pointless apart from saving your crew members from the fluids produced during the act!

That previous post went pretty sharpish hey, eggs and spam?
 

Offline CliffordK

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6321
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Site Moderator
    • View Profile
I'm surprised that NASA allows sending mice into space, but refuses to allow collection of human sperm count data.

What about making a mouse centrifuge? 

If the theory is gravity, then the centrifuged mice should be just fine, although perhaps a bit dizzy.

Cosmic Rays?
 

Offline RD

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8126
  • Thanked: 53 times
    • View Profile
What about making a mouse centrifuge?

NASA were going to "centrifuge" mice to simulate Mars gravity ...

Quote
The mission was planned to carry 15 mice in low Earth orbit for five weeks. The satellite was designed to spin at approximately 32 rpm to generate centrifugal force simulating gravity that astronauts would experience on the surface of Mars.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Gravity_Biosatellite
« Last Edit: 08/01/2011 06:35:53 by RD »
 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Geezer, I am absolutley p*s*ing myself laughing on that link to youtube. 

Obviously, you have a very warped sense of humour.
 

Offline Airthumbs

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 958
  • Personal Text
    • View Profile
geezer, Maybe! Surely in the terms of vitrification though it does not mean turning sperm and eggs into stone! Does it?  I have to be honest I was laughing more at the way they sang it then anything else....

 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
geezer, Maybe! Surely in the terms of vitrification though it does not mean turning sperm and eggs into stone! Does it?  I have to be honest I was laughing more at the way they sang it then anything else....



I have to admit it does sound a bit silly now, but it was catchy at the time  ;D
 

Offline Airthumbs

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 958
  • Personal Text
    • View Profile
I have to admit it does sound a bit silly now, but it was catchy at the time  ;D

Well it's catchy silly now  ;D very bee gees, queen!

On a more serious note; if NASA don't seem to be interested in studying what they seem to perceive as a taboo topic then how are we going to move onto the next step?
« Last Edit: 08/01/2011 07:25:15 by Airthumbs »
 

Offline CliffordK

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6321
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Site Moderator
    • View Profile
What about making a mouse centrifuge?

NASA were going to "centrifuge" mice to simulate Mars gravity ...

Quote
The mission was planned to carry 15 mice in low Earth orbit for five weeks. The satellite was designed to spin at approximately 32 rpm to generate centrifugal force simulating gravity that astronauts would experience on the surface of Mars.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Gravity_Biosatellite

That sounds like it was an ambitious project.

I suppose ounces are important when dealing with space flight.

I don't think it would be too complicated of a device for shipping on a shuttle flight or on the space station.

1 meter diameter gives a circumference of 3.14m.
1 revolution per second (60 rpm) should give you a centripetal acceleration of

F = (3.14m/s)2/1m = 9.85m/s2

So, it would be spinning pretty quickly, but really wouldn't take up that much space.  2 small mouse cages on a pole spinning around, and a non-spinning "control" group.  I suppose it would be more intense if it would need to operate in a non-pressurized compartment in the shuttle. 

I'd probably shut it off during take-offs and landings.


 

Offline Airthumbs

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 958
  • Personal Text
    • View Profile
At this rate it's going to be mice that get to live on Mars not us!  Poor little buggers, they deserve a break!
 

Offline syhprum

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3812
  • Thanked: 19 times
    • View Profile
Converting to the imperial units beloved by NASA it would seem that the centrifuge would have to have a diameter of 2 yards to produce 1g spinning at 32 RPM.
 

Offline CliffordK

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6321
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Site Moderator
    • View Profile
Anyway, however you make it...
A 1 or 2 meter/yard centrifuge would be an excellent compliment to the mouse study.

There was supposed to be a human sized Artificial G module for the space station, but it was cancelled.  Certainly it would also be interesting to see how well the mice adapt to being spun in space at 60 RPM.

Actually, once the equipment was built, I'd offload it onto the space station, and just carry the mice up and down.

Frankly, I'm surprised to see that the International Space Station wasn't designed as a large spinning "wheel" (or 2 contra-rotating wheels).  Perhaps to be built in segments of the wheel, and only powered up when enough segments are assembled enough that it was balanced, or complete.  But I suppose it was never designed for continuous long-term occupancy by individuals and "family life".
 

Offline CliffordK

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6321
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Site Moderator
    • View Profile
At this rate it's going to be mice that get to live on Mars not us!  Poor little buggers, they deserve a break!
Hmmm.
There are theories that the little buggers owe much of their global distribution to Humans.  I'd hope that colonizing a new planet, they could actually be left behind   [xx(]
 

Offline Airthumbs

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 958
  • Personal Text
    • View Profile
I can't help but notice that the subject of this thread has slightly deviated from the original question but it is all very interesting none the less.

It seems that by asking a question that no one has the answer for I have provoked serious thought into some of the possible difficulties of colonising the solar system, but that's a good thing hey?  ;D

By the way I think one of the major problems in rotating space craft would be the Coriolis effect.  Would it not be better to have only part of the ship rotating thus providing a space for exercise to prevent the degenerative effects of space travel on the human body?
 

Offline CliffordK

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6321
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Site Moderator
    • View Profile
Ahhh..
We got talking about artificial gravity...  (which was related the theory of Zero-G induced sterility), although I don't think they've adequately ruled out other environmental factors such as solar radiation.  Thus the need for artificial gravity experiments with mice.

I'm not sure if the Coriolis effect is important unless you trying to play Zero-G basketball.  However, we do need some research on the ability to adapt to rotating artificial G.  Perhaps one could use a gimbaled carnival ride set to 1 or 2 G.  I have to imagine that NASA has already done some of the background experiments on earth.

There would certainly be benefits of non-rotating portions of a ship.  For example, it would be much easier to align antennas and solar panels, as well as viewing with telescopes.  And...  if you aren't Captain Kirk, why would you want to go to space without at least some Zero-G or Zero-Acceleration?

Cryo-preservation is probably a good idea for long-term space travel.  Perhaps even trying to convince NASA to allow you to send up a LEAD Nitrogen tank.  Is it cold enough to just hang the tubes out the window, and at least save on the Nitrogen?   :)  Can they cryo-preserve unfertilized eggs?  Or is it only fertilized eggs?  Perhaps it doesn't matter. 

Oh... and for long-term travel, has anybody tested eggs preserved at say...  2.7K?

On an interstellar colony ship, one of the issues would be preserving biodiversity.  And, thus one would likely want to send a million fertilized eggs (of multiple-species).  When will we have real "test-tube babies" like in "A Brave New World"?  And, if not test-tube babies, at least have a proportion being enforced fertilized egg implantations.  Sending frozen fertilized eggs might be a crude form of cryo-stasis. 
 

Offline CliffordK

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6321
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Site Moderator
    • View Profile
Or...
Is your question about performing cryo-preservation in a zero-G environment?

I doubt anybody has done the study yet...  but if sperm, for example, is healthy when preserved, it shouldn't make any difference if the actual preservation was done under zero-G or not, although any procedures requiring washing and changing fluids might be more complicated.  There may be some centrifuging anyway to help condense the product.

Is "vitrification" a British term?  We use the terms "Freezing/Frozen", Cryopreservation, Artificial Insemination (for animals), and In Vitro Fertilization for humans here in the USA. 

Vitrification would be turning to glass as is often done with radioactive materials (and hence the confusion).

If adults are travelling in space, then the procedure could easily be performed on Earth prior to departure.  If children or infants are travelling, then any process that would destroy the sex organs might occur before the procedure could be conducted.  And, thus In Vitro Fertilization might be required for females....  Hmmm, that is an interesting thought on a multi-generation ship travelling for extremely long distances.  What if you planned on a ship's crew that endured for 1000 generations?

Or..
Perhaps I don't understand the difference between vitrification and standard freezing.  I learned some of the details with respect to livestock 30 years ago, but that is about all.
« Last Edit: 11/01/2011 12:57:59 by CliffordK »
 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Converting to the imperial units beloved by NASA it would seem that the centrifuge would have to have a diameter of 2 yards to produce 1g spinning at 32 RPM.

If they up the speed by 4.15%, the mice will be able to take their LPs along.
 

Offline Airthumbs

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 958
  • Personal Text
    • View Profile
CliffordK, ok, more then a few ways of describing vitrification. I mean the one which describes how certain animals can use cryoprotectants to survive at temperatures of -85ο. In that context the animal goes through a process of vitrification.



so more specifically my question might be; can zero g damage a vitrified frozen sate sperm or egg, even though it's in an altered state? Could zero g have similar deleterious effects on frozen sperm or eggs to that of the current ISS inhabitants. 

Can DNA, in space, get damaged by radiation from space, when frozen.  ;D
 

Offline Airthumbs

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 958
  • Personal Text
    • View Profile
If they up the speed by 4.15%, the mice will be able to take their LPs along.

What would they do about the 44's, like "spin spin sugar", although that might be considered torture given their proposed predicament!
 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
They could proably play their 44's on the same equipment as their 88's. At least the pitch would be about right.
 

Offline Airthumbs

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 958
  • Personal Text
    • View Profile
Yeah the higher the pitch the less audible the mouse screams as they spin through space. I think mice deserve the title as the species which has been in space more then any other.  It's for that reason that at some point in the future mice will be with us on Mars.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum


 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums