Space-Born Jellyfish Struggle on Earth
2013 10 18

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

Sweden Recognizes Palestinian State; Israel Upset
2014 10 31
Sweden on Thursday became the biggest Western European country to recognize a Palestinian state, prompting a strong protest from Israel, which swiftly withdrew its ambassador from Stockholm. The move by Sweden’s new left-leaning government reflects growing international impatience with Israel’s nearly half-century control of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and its blockade of the Gaza Strip. It also comes during increased ...
Fed-Backed Study: How to Brainwash Public into Fearing “Climate Change” Like Ebola
2014 10 31
$84K study seeks ways to make public fear "climate change and overpopulation" The National Science Foundation is funding a study to determine how to brainwash the public into fearing “climate change and overpopulation” as if they were Ebola. The NSF awarded an $84,000 grant to researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo yesterday to figure out how to make ...
Brain decoder can eavesdrop on your inner voice
2014 10 31
As you read this, your neurons are firing – that brain activity can now be decoded to reveal the silent words in your head TALKING to yourself used to be a strictly private pastime. That’s no longer the case – researchers have eavesdropped on our internal monologue for the first time. The achievement is a step towards helping people who cannot ...
6 Million Lies
2014 10 30
“If you do not specify and confront real issues, what you say will surely obscure them. If you do not alarm anyone morally, you yourself remain morally asleep. If you do not embody controversy, what you say will be an acceptance of the drift of the coming hell.” C Wright Mills. I need to share information I have discovered ...
Google’s New Computer With Human-Like Learning Abilities Will Program Itself
2014 10 30
In college, it wasn’t rare to hear a verbal battle regarding artificial intelligence erupt between my friends studying neuroscience and my friends studying computer science. One rather outrageous fellow would mention the possibility of a computer takeover, and off they went. The neuroscience-savvy would awe at the potential of such hybrid technology as the CS majors argued we have nothing to ...
More News »