Connect with us

Science

NASA, ESA to offer Volunteers 13 Lakhs Rupees to Lie in Bed for 60 Days

mm

Published

on

BERLIN – In a statement released by German Aerospace Center (DLR), it has been officially announced that the collaboration of NASA and ESA would offer volunteers 13 Lakhs Rupees for 60 days bed rest. The decision was made after post it was decided that NASA and ESA would study the impact of weightlessness on the human body. German Aerospace Center said that the key findings from the project will be effective to implement countermeasures against bone and muscle atrophy. This will be very useful for astronauts to live healthy for long periods in space, moon or mars. A total of 24 volunteers would take part in this project which will comprise 12 females and 12 males. The ultimate motive of this study is to acquire get maximum possible knowledge about human physiology by space researchers.

Muscle and Bone atrophy are common problems among scientists working in space under weightlessness condition. It affects old age researchers on a large scale. The most important factor which contributes to muscle and bone atrophy is the loss of muscle mass. As the mass of muscles reduces, the adverse effect of space conditions increases on both muscles as well as bones. This leads to serious impacts on the health of scientists working in space. And as volunteers are invited for studying the effect of weightlessness in simulated conditions, so it will be a golden opportunity for people to get rich by participating in this 60 days study. Medical students who choose the option of medical mission trips to contribute could take advantage of this experiment to earn a handsome sum of money in a limited period of time.

The study named Artificial Gravity Bed Rest Study (AGBRESA) will carry out the investigation of the use of artificial gravity to prevent the negative effects of weightlessness on a human body. This will be effective in finding solutions to the weightlessness problems of Astronauts which contributes to muscle and bone atrophy. AGBRESA study will last for three months and participants will lie in a short-arm centrifuge. And out of the total participants, two-thirds will rotate daily to analyze impact of weightlessness on their physiological structure.

DLR unveiled that there will be 12 females and 12 males who will be taking part in this experiment. As crewed spaceflights will be effective in carrying out the important experiments in Space under microgravity. However, it should be noted that there should be a higher level of safety for astronauts during space missions, said Hansjorg Dittus, DLR Executive Board Member for Space Research and Technology. Due to this bed rest study conducted by DLR, NASA, and ESA, the space researchers from Europe as well as the US will get an opportunity to work in collaboration with each other to find effective results from this study. Dittus said that the scientific knowledge collected about human physiology will be helpful to reduce the adverse effects of weightlessness on the health of astronauts.

During all the 89 days of the study, the participants will not be allowed to do any movements. This is required to ensure the reduction in the strain on muscles, tendons and the skeletal system. Also, the volunteers will remain in the same position during the pre-test and recovery phases. In fact, they will not only have to remain in a defined position during all the experiments but also all the meals, and other leisure pursuits will take place while lying down during the bed-rest phase. The conditions are created identical to that experienced by astronauts in space. In order to simulate the displacement of bodily fluids experienced by astronauts in a microgravity environment, the beds on which volunteers lie are angled downwards towards the head end by six degrees.

Leticia Vega, Associate Chief Scientist for International Collaboration for NASA’s Human Research Program has commented on this study. She said the entire environment has been created after taking into consideration the conditions of astronauts during space missions. And also, the effects have been introduced according to the experiences of astronauts in space. Further, she said that the effects of weightlessness have mainly investigated on the International Space Station to reach accurate results. However, this study has been introduced to help understand the certain subjects under controlled conditions on Earth so that it could be possible for us to validate the results with that generated on the ISS.

Jennifer Ngo-Anh, a team leader in Human and Robotic Exploration at ESA has also shared his views about this study. She said that although Artificial Gravity Bed Rest Study permits us to address the issue of muscular atrophy caused by weightlessness, still, we also need to take into consideration other important factors such as cosmic radiation, isolation, spatial restrictions and other important issues related to the subject

The research on human physiology under weightlessness or simulate conditions is not just valid on astronauts working in space but also it will be effective for people living in the terrestrial regions. This will help to generate results regarding prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of people working in space or terrestrial environment. It is also one of the reasons simulated conditions have been chosen to relate the health effects in both spacial as well as the terrestrial environment.

Commenting on this subject, Jens Jordan, the director of the DLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine said that centrifuge has been used during a long-term bed-rest study to examine if artificial gravity could be used to prevent or counteract the physiological changes experienced by astronauts in a weightless environment.

Well, it is not the only study which has been taken into consideration to reduce the health problems of astronauts in space. There are plenty of other experiments that will be conducted to work on this issue. Apart from studying the impacts of weightlessness on muscle or bone atrophy, other health issues will also be studied. Some of the other areas which will be included in further studies include cardiovascular function, balance and muscle strength. Apart from this, muscle tissue biopsies, microdialysis, measurement of electrical muscle activity and regular blood sampling will also be focussed.

From television to the internet platform, Jonathan switched his journey in digital media with Bigtime Daily. He served as a journalist for popular news channels and currently contributes his experience for Bigtime Daily by writing about the tech domain.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Science

University of Health Sciences Antigua Professor Discusses the Benefits of Psychedelic Medicine on Mental Health

mm

Published

on

Dr. Manuel Flores is a man of science. Being a member of the scientific community, he is always open to new ideas and searching for the emergent truth. 

“I know everything can be proved through science,” Dr. Flores explains. “Human beings think we know everything, but we don’t. A thousand years ago, people saw lightning, and they thought God was mad at us.”

As an award-winning educator, accomplished healthcare professional, and a professor at the University of Health Sciences Antigua, Dr. Flores is leading a study to determine the benefits of psychedelic therapy on mental health. “With science, you need to have an open mind,” he says. “The scientific community has always been open to new ideas. For decades, they have demonized psychedelic substances in our culture. I’m pleased to see that the public seems to be more open.”

Dr. Flores is correct about a growing openness to new information on drugs. According to a survey conducted by the Journal of Psychopharmacology, a vast majority of adults in the US, UK, and EU say that they consider psychedelic drugs — such as psilocybin-containing mushrooms — less dangerous than other mind-altering substances like alcohol, tobacco, opiates, and other substances.

What Are Psychedelics?

Dr. Flores and his team are studying the psychedelic alkaloid psilocybin, a substance found in a variety of “magic mushrooms” which are typically consumed for their hallucinogenic effects. They belong to a group of compounds known as psychedelics, which trigger changes in perception, mood, and thought. When psilocybin is taken, it’s converted to psilocin, a chemical with psychoactive properties.

“Psychedelics produce certain effects on the human mind,” says Dr. Flores. “These are alkaloids that produce sensory effects that don’t actually exist. For example, when taken in large doses, one might experience hallucinations.”

However, after decades of campaigns encouraging the public to “just say no” to drugs, extensive research shows the many benefits that psychedelic therapy has on people with mental health conditions, such as depression and PTSD, especially in areas where other treatment methods have failed. This is because psychedelics have been shown to create new neural pathways in the brain, resulting in the ability to increase serotonin production and unlock new avenues of thinking. As a result, patients are more likely to embrace their present situation rather than past trauma.

“The compound we’re studying, psilocybin, has shown many benefits in people with depression or anxiety when used in small doses,” Dr. Flores tells us. “The doses that were used back in the 1960s were quite large, which causes you to experience hallucinations and the negative effects.”

He continues: “In the 20th century, basically all drugs became demonized, including cannabis. Since the late 80s and early 90s, we have realized that some of these drugs have benefits if they are used properly.” For instance, the positive uses of substances like marijuana in treating cancer patients are well documented. When used properly, cannabis can help cancer and chemotherapy patients revitalize their appetite.

A Brief History of Psychedelics

Using natural substances like mushrooms and hallucinogens — both for recreation and medicinal purposes — predates recorded human history. In many cultures, spiritual leaders such as shamans used them as a means of communication with the gods.

“Historically, [these substances] were used by oracles and other people to predict the future or commune with spiritual deities. These drugs put you in that state where you see things you otherwise wouldn’t see, hear, or feel.”

Dr. Flores believes the demonization of drugs began in the Victorian era. “Culturally, the United States has always been a child of England and the United Kingdom, so the stigma around these drugs had a lot to do with Victorian-era beliefs regarding drug use and addiction.” For example, between the mid-1800s and 1900s, alcohol and drug addiction in the US became heavily stigmatized as a result of conservative influence stemming from Victorian-era England.

“In the 1960s,” Dr. Flores adds, “a very particular group of people that everybody called ‘hippies’ used LSD. When conservative people saw these hippies on LSD doing their dances and movements while using these substances, they became more demonized, and later — as a result of that demonization — completely illegal. So now, when you see somebody using drugs, you don’t see a sick person. You see a bad person.”

While caution is always essential when using mind-altering substances, especially considering the severe ramifications of the misuse of alcohol and drugs, Dr. Flores says that these same drugs possess the potential to do good.

What are the potential impacts and benefits?

According to Dr. Flores, the reason behind his research is that we currently only understand the short-term effects of psychedelic drug use. “We do not know for certain the long-term effects,” he says. “The side effects of these drugs are minimal, but we don’t know what will happen ten years from now.”

Dr. Flores isn’t alone in his work, though. In 2019, a study conducted by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine used psylocibin to treat patients suffering from depression found similar results and benefits of the substance. Additional studies conducted by scientific and medical researchers and professionals at other institutions around the US, such as New York University and Mount Sinai, have also been conducted with the same conclusion. Their findings show that psylocibin and psychedelic substances show overwhelming promise to treat patients with a variety of symptoms and mental health disorders.

Nevertheless, the scientific process of understanding the potential impacts and benefits of long-term psychedelic drug use is complicated, involving observation, hypothesis, testing, and experimentation. Dr. Flores hopes that this process will lead to more peer-reviewed journals and — eventually — an emergent truth.

“It’s critical that we conduct this work without bias,” he mentions. “Science is the best thing we have to prove to our natural world because it is tested and retested, and one day, somebody will say, ‘this is an emergent truth, this is what’s happening.’”

The science community knows that these drugs have benefits for people with certain psychiatric disorders, specifically depression, anxiety, and PTSD. But what about any adverse side effects, like what is commonly referred to as a “bad trip?”

“Because the doses we use are so small, there are no bad trips,” Dr. Flores clarifies. “Bad trips came about because the doses used back in the 60s were high, because people were looking for those trips.”

The Importance of Research, Science, and Asking Questions

Science improves our lives. It makes our technology better and faster, provides life-saving discoveries, and can make us healthier. “It’s important to promote science because it’s the key to a better world. There’s nothing more important than learning and asking questions,” says Dr. Flores. “If you don’t know something, educate yourself, learn about it, and have an open mind.”

In this age of instant Google knowledge and WebMD, a bit of information can be dangerous.

“There’s one thing that doctors say,” Dr. Flores says with a laugh. “I went to college for four years, medical school for four years, and did a residency for three to five years. Then, suddenly, someone Googles something and thinks they know more about it than me. If you come to me, I will educate you, and then you can decide what you want to do. It’s called informed consent. It’s vital to educate yourself and then trust science.”

Dr. Manuel Flores is an experienced doctor who has risen in authority and is now the Dean and Vice President of academics of the University of Health Sciences Antigua. He’s an award-winning educator, superbly-rated senior academic administrator, and accomplished healthcare professional with over 18 years of experience in medical, clinical, and health science education, student, and patient-driven environments. 

Continue Reading

Trending