Mouse Sperm Survives in Space, but Could Human Babies?
The freeze-dried mouse sperm spent nine months in space was used to produce healthy rodent breeders on Earth, Japanese researchers reported this week.
But could it be true for humans? And if design was possible in space, babies born in zero vigor are developed, unlike their Earth-related counterparts?
As NASA and other world space agencies are working furiously to push people to Mars in 2030, experts say key questions of survival on Mars are being overlooked.
Rocket scientists have little understanding of how humans live and breathe on Mars, or whether they could even withstand high doses of cosmic radiation that they would get on the road for two to three years.
A key element in the colonization of other planets, as Mars made promising Musk, SpaceX commander committed to making on Mars, have children, said Kris Lehnhardt, assistant professor of emergency medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine And health sciences.
This raises ethical questions about the potential for the creation of a new breed of humans born in deep space or microgravity.
“If your goal is to become a real kind of space, then this is a key area to study,” he told AFP.
“This is a completely unknown field of science.”
A study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed US magazine, was a “good first step,” said Lehnhardt, who was not involved in the investigation.
Mouse sperm were lyophilized and sent for nine months on the International Space Station, which is about 250 miles above Earth.
When the expedition returned, lead researcher Teruhiko Wakayama of Yamanashi University found that space sperm had been “slightly more damaging to DNA,” after enduring an average daily dose of radiation about 100 times stronger than on earth.
On Earth, embryos fertilized in vitro with sperm produced healthy offspring and become normal adults, “suggesting that the DNA damage observed in sperm samples stored in space have been repaired to a large extent in post-embryo embryos Fertilization, “according to the report.
However, research has revealed little about what could happen in space.
“Everything that happened later was on the floor again,” Lehnhardt said.
Not good for ovaries
For researchers who have examined the effect of deep space radiation on the reproductive organs of laboratory mice, the news is not good.
A study published in the journal Reproductive this month showed that severe damage to the ovaries of female mice exposed to charged particles are typical of spatial radiation, raising a concern about premature ovarian failure in astronauts exposed to travel Deep space
One of the study’s authors, Ulrike Luderer, a professor of medicine at the University of California, Irvine, said his research shows why the US space agency is concerned about the health of astronauts in deep space.
“This type of exposure can cause premature failure of ovary and ovarian cancer, and other forms of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and neurocognitive diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease,” AFP said.
“Half of the astronauts in the new NASA astronaut class are women,” he added.
“It is very important to know what chronic effects might be for women exposed to long-term spatial radiation.”
Lehnhardt said he did not know of any studies that have shown rodents could be successful in pregnancy or in space that the embryos could survive.