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December 02, 2011

If Space Worms can survive, then so can we.

Researchers at the University of Nottingham have used Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), a microscopic worm which is biologically very similar to the human being, to help us understand how humans might cope with long-duration space exploration.

The researchers blasted 4,000 of these "space worms" into space onboard the Space Shuttle Discovery and found that that they were able to survive under the harsh conditions of space travel. And because these microscopic species are biologically similar to humans, scientists have inferred that humans could survive under similar conditions.

So what do you all think of this research? Are evidence collected from observing "space worms" strong enough to justify the conclusions that are being stated? can we survive the harsh conditions of long-distance space travel?

the link for the article can be found below:
www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-11/uon-mwc112511.php

Posted by davidnug at December 2, 2011 01:06 AM

Comments

Although this is an interesting study, I feel that humans are far more complex creatures than space worms. Consequently, this one example of an organism similar to humans surviving in such an atmosphere doesn't seem as significant.

Posted by: kimnath at December 2, 2011 01:25 PM

To be perfectly honest I think this conclusion is a bit farfetched. Human beings are much more complex than these microscopic "space worms". I think it would take a lot more evidence to convince the world that humans could endure this kind of space travel.

Posted by: chazr at December 2, 2011 02:51 PM

It's more than a bit of a stretch to claim that humans can survive the harsh and drawn out conditions of interstellar travel. Space worms' anatomies and metabolic needs differ greatly from that of humans.

Posted by: jeffsong at December 3, 2011 04:46 PM

It seems very strange that sending worms into space provides us with information to how humans would survive in a dangerous mission. It is cool and interesting that they are gaining information this way, but how much can a worm really tell us to how a human would be in the same situation.

Posted by: ouellbre at December 5, 2011 12:49 AM

How are microscopic worms similar in anatomy to humans? That seems like a ridiculous conclusion to come to. It's neat to see that life can survive space travel, but I think assuming humans can based on testing done to such a different organism is a bit ridiculous.

Posted by: mgilbs at December 5, 2011 07:15 PM

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