Skip to comments.NASA Uses Fish to Fight Space Sickness
Posted on 03/06/2010 1:39:43 PM PST by NormsRevenge
Astronauts love doing zero-G stunts on the International Space Station, but only after the urge to vomit from space sickness has faded. Now fish, snails and other animals could help understand whether living in space can create long-term or even permanent damage in the inner ear.
Scientists found that the inner ears of toadfish have high sensitivity to even the slightest movements, and that the toadfish brain can both boost and reduce signals from the sensitive inner ear. Because humans have very similar ear structures to these and other animals, toadfish could provide clues about how astronauts' inner ears adapt to spaceflight.
"You can drop a fish's inner ear right into a human and it fits right in there," said Richard Boyle, a biologist at the NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.
Humans do eventually adjust to living in a weightless environment. But their inner ears have to go through a second round of readjustment to full Earth gravity once they return and scientists still don't know how easily the inner ear can make that switch after longer space missions.
Boyle's work is detailed in a study published in the February issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. His co-researchers included lead author Stephen Highstein, a marine biologist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., and Richard Rabbitt, a bioengineer at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.
Getting your space bearings
Living beings evolved inner ears with hair cell sensory organs that can detect sounds as well as movements of the head. The balance sensory organs include tiny ear stones made of calcium carbonate that act as small weights because of gravity.
(Excerpt) Read more at space.com ...
No pics of astronauts with fish sticks stuffed in both ears.
You don’t like fish sticks, Norm ?
The Babel Fish is small, yellow, leech-like, and is a universal translator which simultaneously translates from one spoken language to another. It takes the brainwaves of the other body and what they are thinking then transmits the thoughts to the speech centers of the hosts brain, the speech heard by the ear decodes the brainwave matrix. When inserted into the ear, its nutrition processes convert sound waves into brain waves, neatly crossing the language divide between any species you should happen to meet whilst traveling in space. Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.
So long and Thanks for the Fishes
Space sickness—nothing to carp about!
It's really something you have to experience to understand. It's not the same as getting sea-sick or a blood "rush" from standing too quickly. In my case, the tube that was affected was the positional indicator for looking down and to my left.
For a few weeks I had to be careful about looking down and left because my inner ear would tell my brain I had just accelerated like 30 MPH...then my brain would compensate and BAM! I'd find myself on the ground thinking "What the %$@$ just happened?"
It was actually pretty funny once I got over being scared about it.
I need space to fight my fish sickness.
I just can't stand to eat fish, and the smell of fish (often) can force me to leave a room.
Does this make me anti-NASA?
Maybe we can get grant money to do a study. ;-)
That’s great. And now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s stop going into space.
THAT WAS THE FIRST THING I THOUGHT OF!
“You’ll have to have this fish in your ear.”
Did you go through the positional therapy? BPPV is quite common, I have discovered.
I had a short, slight bout of it a few years ago. I used a video on You Tube for the postural series, did it for a couple of days and it vanished. Thank God! It was terrible. I didn’t fall down, but I had difficulty with various head positions until I figured out the positions involved and went veeeeeeeeeeeeeery slowly if I had to change position. It would happen if I rolled to the right while supine at night, waking me up and I would have to lie there very still until it subsided.
I know someone with Mal de debarquement. Basically, she has days and weeks of feeling as though she is on a boat, what is sometimes called *landsickness*. It goes away totally if she driving. Otherwise, it is usually present. It is quite debilitating.
It would be great if there was something for these sorts of vestibular syndromes.
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