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#1 2002-07-16 11:55:05

C M Edwards
Member
From: Lake Charles LA USA
Registered: 2002-04-29
Posts: 1,011

Re: The Trans-Life Experiment - What do you expect the result to be?

It's been pointed out that a lot is riding on whether or not populations of mammals (like people) are capable of surviving for several generations in low gravity environments.  The TransLife project, an experiment to examine this, will launch a sample population of mice into space to observe them in artificial gravity for two or more generations.

What do you think the results are likely to be?


"We go big, or we don't go."  - GCNRevenger

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#2 2002-07-16 12:37:06

Adrian
Moderator
From: London, United Kingdom
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 642
Website

Re: The Trans-Life Experiment - What do you expect the result to be?

Moved from Civ-Culture to Translife Project forum.


Editor of New Mars

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#3 2002-07-16 16:12:12

Byron
Member
From: Florida, USA
Registered: 2002-05-16
Posts: 844

Re: The Trans-Life Experiment - What do you expect the result to be?

Hey Adrian,

I'm unable to view any of the poll results.  Could this be due to my Windows XP operating system?  I keep attempting to vote or view the results, and I get the same results every time...nothing...lol.

Any help on this would be appreciated...

B

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#4 2002-07-16 16:19:01

Adrian
Moderator
From: London, United Kingdom
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 642
Website

Re: The Trans-Life Experiment - What do you expect the result to be?

Nope, it's not you - the poll feature on these forums appears to be broken. I've tried to fix it once or twice to no avail. However, when I get back home (mid-August) and upgrade the forum software again there's a strong possibility they'll start working. Until then - sorry, nothing I can do.


Editor of New Mars

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#5 2002-07-16 21:00:01

Phobos
Member
Registered: 2002-01-02
Posts: 1,103

Re: The Trans-Life Experiment - What do you expect the result to be?

It's been pointed out that a lot is riding on whether or not populations of mammals (like people) are capable of surviving for several generations in low gravity environments.  The TransLife project, an experiment to examine this, will launch a sample population of mice into space to observe them in artificial gravity for two or more generations.

What do you think the results are likely to be?

Being an eternal optimist, I think it'll turn out that mammals can develop just fine in 1/3 G.  Whether or not those mammals can return to Earth is another question, but I think it's probable that mammals will be able to live and develop healthily in that environment.  I guess if I had to attach a number, I'd say I'm 69% sure. smile


To achieve the impossible you must attempt the absurd

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#6 2002-09-10 05:24:09

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: The Trans-Life Experiment - What do you expect the result to be?

Does anyone know the timetable for this experiment?
   Is it due soon?
                                          :0


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#7 2002-09-20 23:05:29

Phobos
Member
Registered: 2002-01-02
Posts: 1,103

Re: The Trans-Life Experiment - What do you expect the result to be?

Last I read, the Translife experiment wasn't due to launch until around 2005.


To achieve the impossible you must attempt the absurd

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#8 2002-09-21 06:00:16

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: The Trans-Life Experiment - What do you expect the result to be?

Phobos, is the ‘Mars Gravity Biosatellite’ the same thing as ‘Translife’? I'm not sure, but I couldn't find any connection to Translife, or the Mars Society on the Space.com link Mark S provided.


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#9 2002-09-21 07:18:30

Adrian
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From: London, United Kingdom
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 642
Website

Re: The Trans-Life Experiment - What do you expect the result to be?

I'm fairly confident that it is the same thing, but that doesn't really mean much now. Translife was originally the name of a project funded by a foundation headed by Elon Musk (I think), and there was a dispute over exactly who was in charge of it. Somehow the Mars Gravity Biosatellite (MGB) grew up and talk of Translife has disappeared. The MGB is not strictly a Mars Society project, AFAIK - it has lots of outside funding - but the work is being done by Mars Society university chapters. Last I saw, it was doing quite well.


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#10 2003-04-04 16:08:20

dickbill
Member
Registered: 2002-09-28
Posts: 749

Re: The Trans-Life Experiment - What do you expect the result to be?

Hi all,
It is not obvious at all that a reduced gravity doesn’t affect the vertebrates embryogenesis. So the translife experiment is really crucial to determine these effects on the long term. I already post about that in the "martian biology" thread.
Personnaly, what I would expect is a delay in bone densification, meaning that the cartilage content of the bones will stay longer during chilhood and even adulthood, and a decrease in muscular mass. Contrary to the 8 or 10 feet tall martians described in scifi books, I would not be surprised if the overall size of human on Mars will be much smaller than on earth, because of a relative lack of hormonal growth stimulation and no need for a big mucular mass.
I have also some concerns about human pregnancy on Mars. The human brain requires an especially long gestation not mimicked by any other mammals. About that, even the translife experiment won’t be completely informative (I also discussed that already).
If I had to guess, I would say that the gestation timing would be messed up too, at least for the first generation of immigrant and women arriving from earth.  For the genetic effects, it’s a long term issue and remember, mice are not human. We have some special genetic instability that even the higher primates don’t have.
Below are the abstracts of 3 experiments, in one they report brain damages, but it’s at zero g, not 0.38 g, big difference. The second team works with quail embryos that shows some slight body growth retardation, again at zero g, and some embryos with eyes and limbs abnormalities. The third work uses rats embryos at 2 g and here, a smaller body size is reported.


Biol Sci Space 2002 Mar;16(1):3-11
Effects of space environment on embryonic growth up to hatching of salamander eggs fertilized and developed during orbital flights.
Gualandris-Parisot L, Husson D, Bautz A, Durand D, Kan P, Aimar C, Membre H, Duprat AM, Dournon C.
Center of Developmental Biology, Paul Sabatier University, Toulouse cedex, France.
In vertebrates, only few experiments have been performed in microgravity to study the embryonic development from fertilization. To date, these concern only amphibian and fish. We report here a study on the embryonic development of Pleurodeles waltl (urodele amphibian) eggs oviposited in microgravity. The experiment was performed twice on board the Mir space station and the data obtained included video recording and morphological, histological and immunocytological analyses. The data confirm that the microgravity conditions have effects during the embryonic period, particularly during cleavage and neurulation, inducing irregular segmentation and abnormal closure of the neural tube. Moreover, we observed several abnormalities hither to undescribed corresponding to cortical cytoplasm movements, a decrease of cell adhesion and a loss of cells. These abnormalities were temporary and subsequently reversible. The young larvae that hatched during the flight displayed normal morphology and swimming behavior after landing. The results obtained in the urodele Pleurodeles waltl are in accordance with those observed earlier in the anuran Xenopus laevis and in the fish Oryzias latipes.


Aviakosm Ekolog Med 1998;32(3):38-4
Characteristics of morphogenesis of the Japanese quail embryos during microgravity
Dadasheva OA, Gur'eva TS, Sychev VN, Jehns G.
Experiments performed in the period of 1995-1996 cooperatively with US investigators within the MIR/SHUTTLE and MIR/NASA space science projects continued exploration of avian embryogenesis in microgravity. Evaluation of Japanese quail embryos incubated in spaceflight microgravity showed that for the most part they were normally developed and compliant with duration of incubation. One of the major morphometric characteristics of embryo are its mass and size. Comparative analysis of body mass values in the space and laboratory and synchronous control groups pointed to a slight retardation. Body length of space embryos mimicked their mass curve. Data on the dynamics of mass and length of Japanese quail embryos support the well-known theory according to which growth and formation are distinguished by equifinality. No differences were revealed by the investigations of individual parts of embryonic bodies in the space and control groups. However, this finding was true only with regard to the embryos that had no developmental abnormalities. A part of embryos had defective eyes (microphtalmia), limbs (twisted fingers), and beaks.


J Gravit Physiol 2000 Dec;7(3):17-22
Survival and growth of developing rats during centrifugation at 2G.
Baer LA, Ronca AE, Wade CE.
Lockheed Martin, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, USA. lbaer@mail.arc.nasa.gov
We studied the effects of 2G hypergravity on the survival, body mass and growth of postnatal rats (Rattus norvegicus). Nursing litters comprised of either neonatal (Postnatal day [P]7) or pre-weanling (P14) rats and their mothers were exposed to 16 days of continuous centrifugation. All of the offspring survived and gained body mass, indicating that mothers nursed
their young. Following the onset of centrifugation, neonatal and pre-weanling rats showed a reduction in growth relative to age-matched environmental controls (EC). At the completion of testing, body mass of the hypergravity (HG) groups was significantly less than that of controls (p<0.05). Over the course of the test, the HG-exposed P7 group showed an overall 55% gain in body mass as compared to a 71% increase in controls, while the HG-exposed P14 group showed a 62%  increase relative to 75% in controls. Neonatal offspring (P7) gained body mass during centrifugation, but at significantly slower rates as compared to EC controls (p<0.05). In contrast, growth rates of pre-weanling (P14) rats were not reduced relative to controls, possibly related to the initiation of weaning, around P18 in the rat. These findings raise key issues relevant to studies of nursing mammals reared in altered gravity.

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#11 2003-04-04 17:51:59

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: The Trans-Life Experiment - What do you expect the result to be?

Very interesting stuff, Dickbill.
    Your guess about humans living on Mars being smaller, not taller, is quite thought-provoking. And what if something else in the Martian environment affects our skin pigment somehow, and we end up green?
    Hmmm! Little and green and living on Mars .... !!
    I think we might be on to something here!
                                    tongue

[P.S. No offence, Dickbill. I'm just wearing my 'crazy hat' today!!  smile  ]


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#12 2003-04-04 20:04:27

dickbill
Member
Registered: 2002-09-28
Posts: 749

Re: The Trans-Life Experiment - What do you expect the result to be?

Your guess about humans living on Mars being smaller, not taller, is quite thought-provoking. And what if something else in the Martian environment affects our skin pigment somehow, and we end up green?

It's not really provoking. In zero g, the salamanders, rats and the quail embryos stays at an almost normal size, not giants, so at 0.38g there is no reasons to expect giant embryos.
I know there is a myth here, that because the gravity is lower, the bones will continue to growth with less resistance due to a lower body weight and ever and ever.
But from the cell point of view, this is a matter of chemical signalisation. For a bone for example, a mass of indifferentiated  pre-chondrocytes multiply until it reaches a critical "mass", I should say number of cells, at which point secreted growth factors can trigger this undifferentiated mass to condense into a cartilaginous template and later on a bone. But all these chemical signal depends of cell-contact or cell-extacellular matrix contact. If a cell express 10000 molecular receptors for a secreted bone growth factor, for example, do we expect this cell to express more receptors because the gravity is lower ? probably not. So the number of cells signaling and responding to those signals will probably be the same under lower gravity, and so the precartilaginous primordia will contain the same number of cells in 1g than in zero g, this explain why at zero g, vertebrates embryos are still the same size.
From the cartilage to the bones now, that's a different matter. After birth,  reduced forces application to the bones might inhibate the production of chemical signals involved in the cartilage-to-bones conversion processus and also inhibates the induction of the chemical signals with induce the growth or the long bones. These gravity induced differences might not affect identically an animal which embryogenesis is 20 days and reach adulthood in 2 months, like a mouse, verus an animal which
need 9 months of gestation and years to growth.

About the skin, a good anti UV cream and a good tan might help against the radiations and UV induced skin mutation.
I would expect that generation after generation, the martian would obviously beneficiate from a good DNA repair apparatus. Skin tan, melanin, is one possible protection. So I would say that martians will be tanned. Now, green....that's not so stupid you know. Melanine is brown black and protect against UV damaged, now what if we genetically engineer a new kind of melanin, more efficient against the UV and with a different color. This means that transgenesis and genetic therapy will be used by the future martian. I expect that.
The best would be to integrate part of the DNA reparation machinery of Deinococcus radiodurans into our genome. Then, the number of acquired mutations would be reduced, the martians would expect less cancer and, like the KSR trilogy, an extended span life.

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#13 2003-04-17 10:59:18

dicktice
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From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2002-11-01
Posts: 1,764

Re: The Trans-Life Experiment - What do you expect the result to be?

Might there not be another gravity strength less than 1-gee (Earth) and greater than 1/6-gee (Moon) that would result in less work by the heart muscle but stimulate adequate bone structure, namely 1/3-gee (Mars), that results in not shorter, but longer human-on-Mars lifespans than on Earth or the Moon...?

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#14 2003-04-17 11:05:51

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: The Trans-Life Experiment - What do you expect the result to be?

Very interesting stuff, Dickbill.
    Your guess about humans living on Mars being smaller, not taller, is quite thought-provoking. And what if something else in the Martian environment affects our skin pigment somehow, and we end up green?
    Hmmm! Little and green and living on Mars .... !!
    I think we might be on to something here!
                                    tongue

[P.S. No offence, Dickbill. I'm just wearing my 'crazy hat' today!!  smile  ]

*And pointed ears...

--Cindy  smile


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#15 2003-04-24 12:04:51

dickbill
Member
Registered: 2002-09-28
Posts: 749

Re: The Trans-Life Experiment - What do you expect the result to be?

Might there not be another gravity strength less than 1-gee (Earth) and greater than 1/6-gee (Moon) that would result in less work by the heart muscle but stimulate adequate bone structure, namely 1/3-gee (Mars), that results in not shorter, but longer human-on-Mars lifespans than on Earth or the Moon...?

Hi dicktice,

About the longevity, again, if you look at reports of vertebrates breeded and born in space, I don't see any mention of extended life span. But here, I think nothing is conclusive; here's why:
At 1 g, the power requested for a mouse heart to send it's blood to it's horizontal body is much smaller than for a vertical animal like a man, so when shifted to zero g, the mouse feel relatively less difference than a man. I assume that the astronaut feels like they are upside down. So longevity study in mice at reduced g won't necessarily mimick what we can expect for men. Also, a mice lifespan is like 2 years, so to make the experiment clean and significative, the mice should be kept 2 years in  reduced gravity, in the ISS for example. That's a lot of trouble (poopoo, peepee, stinky) , but after all, the ISS is supposed to be used for science "too"  isn't it ?
I don't know, it seems to me that a lot of biological factors won't make human settlement on Mars as easy as in the KSR trilogy. Lower g, lower food intake, physical exhaustion, the first martian immigrants will face the first challenge to survive the first colony. It's not easy, but possible. If they are badly prepared or just unlucky, they can fail to survive. The first french immigrants in Quebec all died in the first winter. So the "first hundred" in quebec are actually not the first and all people from quebec descend from the second colony who came the next year and were able to survive the next winter.

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#16 2003-09-20 05:12:46

alokmohan
Member
From: india
Registered: 2003-09-14
Posts: 169

Re: The Trans-Life Experiment - What do you expect the result to be?

Adrian I am new .please tell where the low gravity experiments are being carried out. Sorry for trouble.

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#17 2003-09-22 05:06:41

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: The Trans-Life Experiment - What do you expect the result to be?

Hi Alokmohan!
    First of all, welcome to New Mars!

    It's possible Adrian is busy at the moment and might not have noticed your question.
    The Mars Gravity Biosatellite experiment (MGB) is to take place in orbit around Earth. There will be mice on board and there will be time for them to breed and produce more mice.
    The capsule in which they'll live for the duration of their stay in space is to be rotated at such a speed that the mice will experience the equivalent of Martian gravity, i.e. 0.38g.
    The idea is to see what effect, if any, living under Martian gravity has on the ability of mammals to survive and reproduce successfully. We tend to assume that a colony of humans on Mars will adapt to the lower gravity and be able to raise families in the usual way but we have no solid data to show this is possible. If there are any serious problems, MGB should help us to understand those problems in advance of sending people to colonise Mars.
    Obviously, it's much better to find these things out before committing resources and risking lives.
    I hope this has helped to answer your question.
                                     smile


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#18 2003-09-22 06:15:39

alokmohan
Member
From: india
Registered: 2003-09-14
Posts: 169

Re: The Trans-Life Experiment - What do you expect the result to be?

Thanks. When this will take place? I am interested in it.

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#19 2003-09-22 07:08:54

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: The Trans-Life Experiment - What do you expect the result to be?

The last I heard, it should happen in 2005. But I'm not certain of that.
                                    smile


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#20 2003-09-24 03:06:52

alokmohan
Member
From: india
Registered: 2003-09-14
Posts: 169

Re: The Trans-Life Experiment - What do you expect the result to be?

So we may live in low gravity. MGB IS INTERESTING

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