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20 female volunteers spend a week in bed researching the effects of spaceflight

The technical website “digital trend” reported that a group of 20 volunteers spend five days in bed as part of a study at the Medes Space Clinic in Toulouse, France, and the idea is to study the effects of microgravity on the body using a technique called dry immersion.

One of the best ways to simulate weightlessness here on Earth is to use water, which is why astronauts are trained to walk in space in what is essentially a giant swimming pool. However, volunteers cannot stay in the water for long to see the effects on their bodies over days rather than Hours.

So the dry-immersion study operates using a luxury waterbed. The volunteers lie in giant bathtubs, but the water is covered with a waterproof cloth.

This way they are not in direct contact with the water but still support their bodies in a similar way to what astronauts experience when they leave Earth’s gravity, spending nearly 24 hours a day in the water bed, with very limited bodily movements.

Microgravity is known to have a range of effects on the body, from muscle wasting (when your muscles don’t need to work to stop you, they are lost over time) to fluid redistribution (when fluid collects in the upper half of the upper body), and there Psychological effects of limited movement in monotonous environments that are important to understand.

However, the majority of research in this area, as with most research in space medicine, has been conducted on men with an increasing number of women participating in spaceflight, and more specific research is needed on their experiences.

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There is almost no knowledge of the physiological and psychological effects on women in this area of ​​research, and Angelique van Ombergen, head of the life sciences division at the European Space Agency, said the all-women dry immersion study would add to previous male campaigns conducted in Europe and Russia.

In addition to helping researchers understand more about what the body goes through in microgravity, this research could help people on Earth as well, and the findings could be useful for understanding the psychological and physical needs of patients with movement disorders, those who are immobile or the elderly. .