Author Topic: Jellyfish in Space  (Read 387 times)

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Offline Graybeard

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Jellyfish in Space
« on: October 21, 2013, 08:06:06 PM »
http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2RHYJB/:xL81X6uX:421rIYd4/boingboing.net/2013/10/17/jellyfish-born-in-space-get-ve.html/

A warning for future space colonizers: Babies born in space might not ever figure out how to deal with gravity. Jellyfish babies, at least, have to deal with massive vertigo on Earth after spending their first few days in space.

NASA first started sending jellyfish to space aboard the Columbia space shuttle during the early '90s to test how space flight would affect their development. As cool as being an astronaut baby sounds, the jellies didn't develop the same gravity-sensing capabilities as their Earthly relatives.

Jellyfish tell up from down through calcium sulfate crystals that ring the bottom edge of their mushroom-like bodies. The crystals are housed in little pockets lined with hair cells, and when the jellyfish moves, the crystals roll around, signaling to the brain which way is up by stimulating those hair cells. The pockets seemed to develop normally in space, but the astro-jellies later had trouble figuring out how to swim around in normal gravity. They had abnormal pulsing and movement when returned to Earth compared to non-astronaut jellyfish.

Humans sense gravity and acceleration using otoliths, calcium crystals in the inner ear (similar to those jellyfish have) which move sensitive hair cells to tell the brain which way gravity is pulling. So if the jellyfish had trouble developing their gravity senses in space, it's likely human space babies would get major vertigo too.


So it'll be single sex ships for deep-space colonization...
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Willie

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Re: Jellyfish in Space
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2013, 08:32:14 PM »
Or ships that spin to simulate gravity.

Online Nam

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Re: Jellyfish in Space
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2013, 01:13:04 AM »
You know, I actually thought about this yesterday. Now I know.

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Offline screwtape

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Re: Jellyfish in Space
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2013, 03:56:06 PM »
So it'll be single sex ships for deep-space colonization...

seems like a mistake to put all your hens in one basket...
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Online Nam

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Re: Jellyfish in Space
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2013, 04:19:48 PM »
Is "Jellyfish in space" anything like "Pigs in Space"?

;)

-Nam
A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously - Humphrey

Offline Backspace

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Re: Jellyfish in Space
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2013, 03:57:32 PM »
Oh sure, jellyfish get to go into space while I sit her on earth waiting for my flying car.

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Offline Willie

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Re: Jellyfish in Space
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2013, 10:38:03 PM »
Is "Jellyfish in space" anything like "Pigs in Space"?

;)

-Nam

Yes. Exactly like Pigs in Space. Except wetter. And more jiggly. And with stingers. But otherwise, exactly like Pigs in Space.


Online Nam

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Re: Jellyfish in Space
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2013, 10:44:08 PM »
Is "Jellyfish in space" anything like "Pigs in Space"?

;)

-Nam

Yes. Exactly like Pigs in Space. Except wetter. And more jiggly. And with stingers. But otherwise, exactly like Pigs in Space.



Pigs in Space is a Jim Henson's Muppet reference. I was surprised no one got it 'cause Muppets rule.

-Nam
A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously - Humphrey

Offline Willie

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Re: Jellyfish in Space
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2013, 07:38:30 PM »
I got it (hence keeping the title capitalization intact). Why do you assume that I didn't? Quite likely some others did too.

Online Nam

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Re: Jellyfish in Space
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2013, 10:32:51 PM »
Fine. Y'all got it! (runs away and cries :'(

-Nam
A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously - Humphrey