Cell Biology And Biotechnology In Space Essay

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Cell Biology and Biotechnology in Space The Human Experience in Microgravity (slide 1) There is a fairly robust list of challenges humans face when they leave the 1 G environment of Earth and enter the microgravity environment in orbit or beyond. Bone Density Decrease and Cardiovascular Deconditioning One of the major issues is the loss of bone density. The basic, very oversimplified equation is that you lose approximately 1 percent of your bone mass per month while in microgravity as we experience it in low Earth orbit. The interesting thing about that relationship is it does not achieve a steady state. It seems to continuously decrease, whereas when you compare it to cardiovascular deconditioning, there is a decline in cardiovascular performance that settles into a new adaptational steady state that you can manage. Unlike bone density, which seems to continue to decrease. There is a substantial concern over the impact of continual bone loss in the case of multi-year missions. Muscle Atrophy Atrophy occurs probably for multiple reasons in microgravity. We normally consider the problem in terms of the load that gravity puts on us and the unloading that occurs in microgravity. In addition to that type of atrophy, there is probably disuse atrophy that takes place. When you move about in space, you use different muscles than you would be using on the ground, and there are other muscles you use on the ground that are not used at all in space. Vestibular Disturbances The neurovestibular system is your balance system. It allows you to know what is up and what is down and who is facing whom and who is looking in which direction. The visual cues all come through a specific set of organelles or organs that relay them to the brain; you process this through six or so channels. In microgravity, some of those sensor systems that tell you where you are

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