Learn about the activities of astronauts in space. Also learn about the hibernation experiments and the hibernation molecule DADLE.
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Learn About the Hibernation Molecule DADLE The International Space Station might be a technological novel, but it doesn’t offer the comforts of home. Because this is a concentrated universe where living is anything but easy. Space is limited putting great pressure on the astronaut’s body and mind. Muscles waste and the atmosphere is claustrophobic. When manned deep space missions become a reality, it’s only going to get worse. And scientists are looking to the animal kingdom answers. Specifically tracking down the mechanism that allows to them to hibernate, an ideal condition for astronauts traveling for years through space. At the University of Pavia in Italy, a research team is conducting hibernation experiments on behalf of the European Space Agency. Professor Bigio Geriad and his colleagues had been able to create hibernation like state in cell cultures using a synthetic molecule called DADLE, which has opium like properties. In a nutshell, it’s even found how this molecule, which uses the energy consumed by the cell, and basically puts it to sleep. But this may only be the beginning. Research at the University of Arona has been testing DADLE on non-hibernating animals starting with rats. The rodent was injected with DADLE and its subsequent behavior compared to that of a non-treated animal. Sensors tracks its heart beat and brain activity, because hibernation in animals is characterized by huge drops in heart rate, body temperature and metabolism. Its detractors say human hibernation is sheer folly but it’s gather that long ago, it’s believed man’s fore bearers used to sleep through the long, cold winters.

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