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tylers100

Bone loss in outer space and outer space ecology

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If my understanding of human bone is correct; The bone makes blood for body and in return, body needs the bone. When in outer space in a micro-gravity environment or no gravity at all, the relationship between body and Earth decreases to minimum or none at all thus minimum or presumably absence of a type of sustainability for bone.

The cause of bone loss is far more likely because of relationship between body and Earth (eg. gravity, etc), and of course with surface ecology in consideration.

Assumption 1 - Optimal Function: Then I think that body uses up what is available from bone (eg. blood). Bone will likely continue to provide until it is completely used up as long body require it. Once all used up, no manufacturing of blood then no renewable cells to sustain, repair, etc with the body thus human body will eventually either stop to function optimally until a possible death or something like that.

Or..

Assumption 2 - The Ecology of Outer Space: If a prolonged stay in outer space while supplied with survival requirements (eg. food, drink, etc) apart from gravity, would the human body undergo a change to fit in the ecology of outer space? If so, would that means we might have to redefine what it mean to be human being in outer space without gravity or other conditions (eg. Earth and its ecological surface) that give arise to conditional definitions of human beings?

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6 hours ago, tylers100 said:

If my understanding of human bone is correct; The bone makes blood for body and in return, body needs the bone. When in outer space in a micro-gravity environment or no gravity at all, the relationship between body and Earth decreases to minimum or none at all thus minimum or presumably absence of a type of sustainability for bone.

The cause of bone loss is far more likely because of relationship between body and Earth (eg. gravity, etc), and of course with surface ecology in consideration.

Assumption 1 - Optimal Function: Then I think that body uses up what is available from bone (eg. blood). Bone will likely continue to provide until it is completely used up as long body require it. Once all used up, no manufacturing of blood then no renewable cells to sustain, repair, etc with the body thus human body will eventually either stop to function optimally until a possible death or something like that.

Or..

Assumption 2 - The Ecology of Outer Space: If a prolonged stay in outer space while supplied with survival requirements (eg. food, drink, etc) apart from gravity, would the human body undergo a change to fit in the ecology of outer space? If so, would that means we might have to redefine what it mean to be human being in outer space without gravity or other conditions (eg. Earth and its ecological surface) that give arise to conditional definitions of human beings?

Wiki explains it best:

Quote

Bone remodels in response to stress in order to maintain constant strain energy per bone mass throughout.[5] To do this, it grows more dense in areas experiencing high stress, while resorbing density in areas experiencing low stress. On Mars, where gravity is about one-third that of earth, the gravitational forces acting on astronauts' bodies would be much lower, causing bones to decrease in mass and density.[6]

Average bone loss of 1–2% was recorded in astronauts on Mir each month.[2] This is in comparison to 1–1.5% bone loss in the elderly per year, and 2–3% in postmenopausal women.[7]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaceflight_osteopenia

 

Has been a new drug found that may help however,

Quote

The mice got a drug that prevented the usual decreases in muscle and bone mass during a month on the International Space Station, a team reports in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"The drug was effective not just in preserving the muscle mass and bone mass, but actually caused the muscles and bones to grow," says Dr. Se-Jin Lee, a professor at The Jackson Laboratory and the University of Connecticut.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/09/08/910776985/drug-that-bulked-up-mice-in-space-might-someday-help-astronauts-make-long-voyage

 

Not sure how it would go if left unchecked. Bones also serve as a reserve of calcium for the body. Even if structural support and blood cells wasn't an issue, might still have problems.

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2 hours ago, Endy0816 said:

Wiki explains it best:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaceflight_osteopenia

 

Has been a new drug found that may help however,

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/09/08/910776985/drug-that-bulked-up-mice-in-space-might-someday-help-astronauts-make-long-voyage

 

Not sure how it would go if left unchecked. Bones also serve as a reserve of calcium for the body. Even if structural support and blood cells wasn't an issue, might still have problems.

From the article you posted:

Quote

"Even before the space station experiment, the approach had been shown to produce spectacular results in mice. But efforts to reproduce these results in people have had mixed results."

"The challenge, Lee says, will be to find a version of the drug that builds muscle and bone in people without causing side effects."

Without causing side effects (as in zero)? I think it is impossible, really. Because of equilibrium or ratio principle; for a thing to be altered while it is in relation/relationship with existing other things, all of these must change in order to reach toward/back to an equilibrium. All of things as I said, include side effects. What I'm saying.. I think there will be always side-effects of some degree in principle in all drugs.

Maybe a next version of drug might will help human astronauts to go to ISS, the moon, to Mars, or elsewhere if we still have the notion; want a preservation of human body and its functions. If so, we have to consider the environmental design or ecological nature of spaceship and eventually to elsewhere - with earthy conditions in mind.

It is like carrying a baggage with a bit of everything in it. Too much manpower and costly.

The question is, once get there (eg. ISS, the moon, mars, etc) - how would the drug respond to a different condition over a long period of time? I mean, the drug and any future version(s) of it would be extensively tested here on Earth and orbit above.. positioned proximity to earth conditions, not the destinations as named above which have conditions that would be surely different from what is tested.

A solution for a situation, but that doesn't mean it is same for another or different situation. A saying. It is all situational dependent. And also, a drug is not always a solution, especially when faced with natural conditions (eg. outer space ecology, on Mars, etc) for a long time.


Anyway, have we yet to see if plants or mice undergo some kind of change over a long period of time in outer space without drugs, apart from the bone loss? I mean, plants or mice feed with natural food/drink/air and other basic and survival necessities. Just to see what happen. A long time, by that I mean, like.. over 1 year or so. To see the full impact of effects on it. Will it continue to be as it is, or until it encounter some kind of problems, or will it change to fit in a different ecological condition such as outer space?

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Reading Tyler's and Endy's excellent and informative posts, I wonder whether any research has been conducted into how marine organisms, such as fish and cetacean mammals, cope with living in the seas and oceans.

In these aqueous environments, there would seem to be no effective gravitational force acting on the organism's body.  The body is being kept in a neutral state, where any downward gravitational pull, is balanced by an upward push deriving from buoyancy.

Doesn't this mean that the organism is effectively, in a state of "zero-G"  - just as it would be, if it were floating in outer space. 

You  can see where this is going!   I mean, how do dolphins and whales manage to survive in this zero-G situation?  Without suffering the bone-loss, muscle atrophy, and other concomitant  detrimental effects which Tyler and Endy rightly cite in their posts as afflicting human astronauts?

 

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Why would you think that there is no gravity in oceans? 

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2 hours ago, CharonY said:

Why would you think that there is no gravity in oceans? 

Thanks  CharonY.  Well of course I know gravity permeates the whole Earth, including its oceans. But I thought that in the oceans, the downward pull of gravity gets nearly cancelled out by the upward push of water-pressure.  Thus allowing mammals like whales to thrive in a nearly zero-G environment.   Without ill-effects. That's all I was saying.  Is it wrong?

 

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This thread isn’t about buoyancy in the ocean. It’s about bone loss in space 

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1 minute ago, iNow said:

This thread isn’t about buoyancy in the ocean. It’s about bone loss in space 

How is it different?  If you're buoyant in the ocean, aren't you, in effect, experiencing no gravitational force.  Just like in free-fall space orbit. Isn't that why astronauts practice space missions in big tanks of water.  Whales and dolphins spend their whole lives in the water without suffering bone-loss.

I know this another thread derailment.  Please delete it, if you think it advisable.

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47 minutes ago, Charles 3781 said:

I know this another thread derailment

And yet you persist 

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5 hours ago, Charles 3781 said:

I know this another thread derailment.  Please delete it, if you think it advisable.

I don't think it's an unreasonable question, after all astronauts spend some of their training under water to better approximate zero-g conditions. Unfortunately are probably not a good model organism in this context:

 

Quote

While fish and amphibians were useful animal models to study developmental and neuronal processes, they were less useful to investigate microgravity effects on the skeletal, muscular and cardiovascular systems. These species are adapted to decreased weight effects during normal life conditions because buoyancy in their aquatic environment counteracts gravity-induced weight-loading on muscles and bones. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Not knowing anything about it I thought fish  probably wouldn't have bone density problems in zero gee - but I was wrong. From studying fish raised on the ISS -

Quote

..investigators found increased volume and activity of osteoclasts and significant reduction of bone mineral density in the fish aboard the station. Using electron microscopes, investigators also observed abnormalities in osteoclast mitochondria.

Osteoclasts are a type of bone cell that triggers bone breakdown and re-absorption - and are essential to maintaining, repairing and remodeling bone. Microgravity appears to inappropriately activate osteoclasts.

I don't think there is going to be much difference between cetaceans and humans in how bones grow; many human bones aren't weight bearing and are equally "buoyed up" within the human body, as much as cetaceans would be. Weight bearing bones in the absence of weight can make do with the compressions generated by exercise but those osteoclast cells affect bone density in mice and human and almost certainly will in cetaceans as well.

Edited by Ken Fabian

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On 10/5/2020 at 11:46 AM, tylers100 said:

From the article you posted:

Without causing side effects (as in zero)? I think it is impossible, really. Because of equilibrium or ratio principle; for a thing to be altered while it is in relation/relationship with existing other things, all of these must change in order to reach toward/back to an equilibrium. All of things as I said, include side effects. What I'm saying.. I think there will be always side-effects of some degree in principle in all drugs.

Maybe a next version of drug might will help human astronauts to go to ISS, the moon, to Mars, or elsewhere if we still have the notion; want a preservation of human body and its functions. If so, we have to consider the environmental design or ecological nature of spaceship and eventually to elsewhere - with earthy conditions in mind.

It is like carrying a baggage with a bit of everything in it. Too much manpower and costly.

The question is, once get there (eg. ISS, the moon, mars, etc) - how would the drug respond to a different condition over a long period of time? I mean, the drug and any future version(s) of it would be extensively tested here on Earth and orbit above.. positioned proximity to earth conditions, not the destinations as named above which have conditions that would be surely different from what is tested.

A solution for a situation, but that doesn't mean it is same for another or different situation. A saying. It is all situational dependent. And also, a drug is not always a solution, especially when faced with natural conditions (eg. outer space ecology, on Mars, etc) for a long time.


Anyway, have we yet to see if plants or mice undergo some kind of change over a long period of time in outer space without drugs, apart from the bone loss? I mean, plants or mice feed with natural food/drink/air and other basic and survival necessities. Just to see what happen. A long time, by that I mean, like.. over 1 year or so. To see the full impact of effects on it. Will it continue to be as it is, or until it encounter some kind of problems, or will it change to fit in a different ecological condition such as outer space?

 

Genetic tinkering would be more ideal in the long-term(more than just the bones that are impacted), but drugs should work well enough for early travel. Besides broken bones, you'll want to minimize risk of kidney stones and clogged toilets from the calcium. Probably wouldn't need to keep using it upon arriving somewhere either.

Environment there and on any colonies would be almost entirely artificial. The only real outliers are the lower gravity and higher radiation levels, though we could provide artificial gravity and radiation shielding if necessary.

Plants seem to handle low gravity fine. Humans have survived a couple years continuously living in space, but to my knowledge there haven't been any experiments lasting more than a few months for mice.

 

 

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28 minutes ago, Endy0816 said:

 

Genetic tinkering would be more ideal in the long-term(more than just the bones that are impacted), but drugs should work well enough for early travel. Besides broken bones, you'll want to minimize risk of kidney stones and clogged toilets from the calcium. Probably wouldn't need to keep using it upon arriving somewhere either.

Environment there and on any colonies would be almost entirely artificial. The only real outliers are the lower gravity and higher radiation levels, though we could provide artificial gravity and radiation shielding if necessary.

Plants seem to handle low gravity fine. Humans have survived a couple years continuously living in space, but to my knowledge there haven't been any experiments lasting more than a few months for mice.

 

 

There's no such thing as fish, yet some of them have cartilage for bones... 

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, dimreepr said:

There's no such thing as fish, yet some of them have cartilage for bones... 

I could definitely see that working for permanent low gravity downthe lone.  There's the reproduction aspect as well to consider too though. If we're forced to solve reproduction with artificial gravity or tricking our biology then bone loss may not even be a problem.

More research really needs to be done.  Honestly, for bone loss, might even be able to compensate enough via exercise where the risk upon landing after a longer trip is acceptable.

Edited by Endy0816

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