Sciencescience

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 04:31 PM

How our immune systems could stop humans reaching Mars

Billions of years of evolution has effectively backed mankind into a corner of the Solar System that it may be now be tricky to leave.

A team of scientists from Russia and Canada analysed the effect of microgravity on the protein make-up in blood samples of 18 Russian cosmonauts who lived on the International Space Station for six months.

They found alarming changes to the immune system, suggesting that they would struggle to shake off even a minor virus, like the common cold.

“The results showed that in weightlessness, the immune system acts like it does when the body is infected because the human body doesn’t know what to do and tries to turn on all possible defense systems,” said Professor Evgeny Nikolaev, of Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/09/02/immune-systems-could-stop-humans-reaching-mars/

15 replies, 856 views

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply How our immune systems could stop humans reaching Mars (Original post)
Let it go Sep 2017 OP
def_con5 Sep 2017 #1
Let it go Sep 2017 #2
Grateful Bread Sep 2017 #3
def_con5 Sep 2017 #5
Grateful Bread Sep 2017 #7
def_con5 Sep 2017 #9
Grateful Bread Sep 2017 #11
LeeCPTINF Sep 2017 #14
Solesurvivor Sep 2017 #4
def_con5 Sep 2017 #6
Grateful Bread Sep 2017 #8
foia Sep 2017 #10
def_con5 Sep 2017 #12
Let it go Sep 2017 #13
LeeCPTINF Sep 2017 #15

Response to Let it go (Original post)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 04:42 PM

1. That's pretty neat

I never would have guessed that.

I thought the biggest problem would be the Van Allen belts.

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Response to def_con5 (Reply #1)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 04:48 PM

2. We haven't begun to figure out all the problems.

That's kind of scary. No options.

This is why we all need to work together though. Or we'll be fighting over stupid stuff and it will be too late to save us.

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Response to Let it go (Original post)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 04:53 PM

3. I wonder

 

if the mechanism that triggers this response happens along a gravity based continuum or if if any long term drop from 1g does it. Mars is (I think) about 1/3g, so maybe having at least some gravity would prevent our immune systems from going haywire.

We should go to Mars. And then we should go out to the Belt and mine it. But we should be good to the Belters, sa-sa?

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Response to Grateful Bread (Reply #3)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 04:58 PM

5. No idea

But lack of gravity causes all kinds of problems. Why not generate artificial gravity, I don't mean Star Trek. Just a gentle spin would help.

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Response to def_con5 (Reply #5)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 06:52 PM

7. You'd have to have a pretty big ship for that.

 

Otherwise the Coriolis Effect would be unbearable. A Mars trip would have some thrust gravity in the beginning and on the deceleration burn, but would be on the float most of the time.

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Response to Grateful Bread (Reply #7)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 06:54 PM

9. What about a long ship

Not necessarily a lot of mass? Just spin it end over end, no?

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Response to def_con5 (Reply #9)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 07:00 PM

11. Hmm

 

I think the gravity would change then depending on where you were standing along the length of the ship. Also, up and down would flip 180 degrees when you crossed the centerline of the ship!

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Response to Grateful Bread (Reply #7)

Mon Sep 4, 2017, 10:40 PM

14. Mars Direct Plan

Engine module and crew habitate separate, connected by a long cable after final burn. Spin induced artificial gravity for majority of the trip.

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Response to Let it go (Original post)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 04:57 PM

4. couldn't they just make a ship with a circling belt around for artificial gravity?

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Response to Solesurvivor (Reply #4)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 04:59 PM

6. Great minds and all that

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Response to Solesurvivor (Reply #4)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 06:53 PM

8. See #7

 

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Response to Let it go (Original post)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 06:59 PM

10. Or maybe just a small 1G spinner to sleep in instead of a whole ship

That way they could get maybe half time in gravity and that might help keep the immune system operating somewhat normally.

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Response to foia (Reply #10)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 07:14 PM

12. Interesting

I hadn't thought of that.

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Response to foia (Reply #10)

Sat Sep 2, 2017, 07:43 PM

13. As long as it's not spinning me!

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Response to Let it go (Original post)

Mon Sep 4, 2017, 10:42 PM

15. Went to a breakout seasion talking about that issue once

One proposal was tto actually carry along various viruses to be released at times just to keep the immune system exercised. I'm sure the guy in charge of the program will be a popular member of the crew.

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