Space-Born Jellyfish Struggle on Earth
2013-10-18 0:00

By RR Helm | Deep Sea News

Jellyfish go to space, say it was “meh, kinda sucky”

Why send jellies to space? Well, because it’s awesome (true for anything in space), but mostly because of little crystals jellies keep in their bodies, and what these crystals can tell us about long-term human space travel.

When a jelly grows, it forms calcium sulfate crystals at the margin of its bell [1]. These crystals are surrounded by a little cell pocket, coated in specialized hairs, and these pockets are equally spaced around the bell. When jellies turn, the crystals roll down with gravity to the bottom of the pocket, moving the cell hairs, which in turn send signals to neurons. In this way, jellies are able to sense up and down. All they need is gravity.

Humans have gravity sensing structures too, and therein lies the crux: in space with no gravity, will these structures grow normally? If humans ever want to travel to deep space, we’ll need to be popping out kids while up there. Will these kids develop normal gravity sensing, even after growing up without it?

For jellies at least, things aren’t so good. After developing in space, astronaut jellies have a hard life back on Earth. While development of the sensory pockets appears normal, many more jellies had trouble getting around once on the planet, including pulsing and movement abnormalities, compared to their Earth-bound counterparts [2, 3].

Human gravity sensing isn’t exactly like that of jellies, but it’s close. The human inner ear contains both fluids and small crystals, which tell us not only the angle of our head, but also our forward momentum. Even with these differences, there is enough similarity between the two systems to be cause for concern.

[...]

Read the full article at: deepseanews.com




READ: Dreaming of Mars: How Astronauts Could Hibernate On Long Voyage





Related Articles
How Jellyfish Relaxation Can Lead to Energy-Efficient Vehicles
Jellyfish force nuclear plant shutdown in Sweden
Cyro: the creepy autonomous robot jellyfish that could eventually patrol the oceans of the world
The verdict is in on that sea monster video: It’s a jellyfish
Robot jellyfish: U.S. Navy-backed researchers developing Robojelly


Latest News from our Front Page

Your Smartphone Could be Tracking You Every 3 Minutes, Study Says
2015-04-01 2:24
Your apps want to know where you are Smartphone apps regularly collect large amounts of data on users’ locations, sometimes as often as every three minutes, new research suggests. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University conducted a study where they asked 23 people to use their Android smartphones normally, and tracked location data requests from each device with specially designed software, the Wall ...
Facebook accused of tracking all users even if they delete accounts, ask never to be followed
2015-04-01 2:14
A new report claims that Facebook secretly installs tracking cookies on users’ computers, allowing them to follow users around the internet even after they’ve left the website, deleted their account and requested to be no longer followed. Academic researchers said that the report showed that the company was breaking European law with its tracking policies. The law requires that users are ...
'Gay cake' bakery discriminated against client over sexual orientation, court told
2015-04-01 2:37
David Scoffield QC, acting for the bakery, said if Lee’s argument was right, a Muslim printer could not turn down a contract to print leaflets about the prophet Muhammad, an atheist could not turn down an order saying God made the world and a Roman Catholic printer could not decline making leaflets calling for the legalisation of abortion on demand. Judge ...
Gay rights groups criticize Indiana religious liberties law
2015-04-01 0:10
Editor's note: Would it be ok if a court forced a bakery operated by homosexuals, to make a cake for a Christian that says: "Homosexuality is a sin"? What would the reactions be? One way tolerance? Respecting peoples beliefs extends in all directions or in no direction. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed a religious liberties bill into law Thursday that has been ...
Daily Show's Trevor Noah under fire for Twitter jokes about Jews and women
2015-04-01 0:01
Trevor Noah – the surprise choice to succeed Jon Stewart as high-profile host of satirical news program The Daily Show – has come under fire for a series of controversial tweets he posted before his appointment. The South African comedian – son of a Swiss-German father and half-Jewish South African mother – was criticised for having made tasteless jokes about Jews ...
More News »