Pregnancy in space: scientists told how it is possible and safe for humans
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So far, scientists do not see the possibility of the normal development of the fetus in space, but new research can change this situation.related video
Space is a dangerous environment for humans. Nevertheless, very soon humanity will create new space stations and colonies on other planets. This means that people will not only live and work there, but also build relationships, start families and children. Therefore, scientists are trying to find out if we can easily reproduce in an environment that is different from the earth. New research suggests that possible prerequisites for this exist, writes Space.
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“It is already known that cosmic radiation can negatively affect human cells and even lead to the destruction of DNA. But little is known about how microgravity, which is present on board, for example, the ISS, and in the future will be present on board other stations and spaceships can affect our cells, the processes that take place in them,” says Joanna Bridger from Brunel University of London.
According to the scientist, research is just beginning on how exposure to microgravity can affect the activity of our cells. Experiments with embryonic stem cells and patterns of development of embryos in the first few weeks of their stay in space will help determine whether women will be able to give birth to children in space and in colonies on other planets.
< p>As part of the research, scientists have already assessed the possibility of reproduction in space in insects, amphibians, fish, reptiles, birds and rodents. For example, results for fish, frogs and geckos have shown that they can produce fertilized eggs during space flight, and these offspring can survive on Earth.
“But with mammals, which include humans, this is not the case In a slightly different way, a study of mice, for example, showed that their reproductive cycle was disrupted under the influence of microgravity, and negative neurological changes were also seen in rats, “says Bridger.
Scientists believe that mammalian cells are less adapted to work in space. Such animals, like humans, need Earth's gravity for the normal development of the fetus. Gravity, among other things, helps establish the correct structure of the fetal body, ensuring that cells develop in the right places, in the right numbers, and with the right spatial orientation.
Scientists have already been doing research to see if microgravity affects embryonic stem cells, which can develop into all cells in the body. There is already some evidence that microgravity affects their ability to transform into desired cell types.
“But it is possible to obtain human stem cells from normal mature cells in our body, which are called induced stem cells. Experiments on Earth have shown that such cells proliferate faster in microgravity. Experiments are underway on the ISS, which should confirm the results on the ground, “says Bridger.
< p>According to the scientist, it is still not exactly clear how low gravity will affect fertilization, the production of hormones, and the process of giving birth to a child.
“I think that perhaps people will be able to escape the negative effects of microgravity in the process of fertilization, pregnancy and birth through intervention in the body at the cellular level. Of course, another way to change the situation for the better is to create gravity on a spacecraft or in a colony as similar to Earth as possible. But now such research is just beginning, “says Bridger .
“At the moment, those who have been lucky enough to be in space should not try to get pregnant before, during, or immediately after a space flight,” Bridger concludes.
Focus has already written that scientists want to create a “farm” of embryos grown in a mechanical womb. An Israeli company wants to make humanity “younger and healthier”, and for this it plans to use human embryos grown from stem cells.