Jun 13, 2019 11:24 AM EDT
With the increasing number of experiments revolving around the human body, it is no longer shocking that new concepts are developed more and more frequently. Researches emerge with scopes ranging from the body as a whole, down to the smallest building blocks of life.
A recent study revolves on how the human cell reacts to microgravity in space. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has tasked Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) to deliver human organs from the Earth to the International Space Station (ISS).
To learn more about how the human cells will survive the environment where there is very little gravity, tissue chips, considered a new technology in human research, have been sent to space through SpaceX. The data collected through these chips will help make projections as to how effective particular medicines are to the human cell.
According to the press release by NASA, the effect of microgravity causes significant changes to the human cell. It displays the effects of accelerated aging while disease processes are seen to progress faster than if these cells were on Earth. Such findings are not new considering that several astronauts have undergone a similar research procedure. They wrote about how they felt and the changes they have undergone while in the ISS for at least a year.
Most of the data collected from these studies show that exposure to the environment where there is little to no gravity speeds up the processes that the human body undergoes.
While at the International Space Station, astronauts have also experienced a rapid change in how their body reacts to various factors in the outer space. The exposure mainly suppressed their immune system and caused them to suffer muscle and bone atrophy.
Each of the chip that was transported in the ISS was specifically designed to mimic a particular part of the human body. A whole host of the cells in the human body were sent to the ISS to ensure that a holistic evaluation was to be conducted. It included the most important human organs like the liver, kidney, and the brain as well.
As part of the purpose of the entire study, the chips are to flow in a blood-like substance to ensure that the study is able to collect the most accurate data possible. In a few weeks, the scientists in the ISS will be able to see the changes in the chips after exposure to microgravity.
Scientists and astronauts from NASA believe that this study plays a critical role in the development of new medical treatments on Earth. Changes that normally would take months to observe if it were done on Earth would be completed in just a few weeks in space. Soon, the results of this experiment will allow scientists to make the most accurate report on various aspects that could impact life outside the Earth.
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