Space Biology. Modern methods of biological research

Space Biology. Modern methods of biological research

The science of biology includes a lot of different sections, large and small subsidiary sciences. And each of them is important not only in human life, but also for the whole planet as a whole.

For the second century in a row, people are trying not to studyonly the earthly diversity of life in all its manifestations, but also to find out whether there is life outside the planet, in outer space. These issues are handled by a special science - space biology. About it and will be discussed in our review.

Section of Biological Science - Space Biology

This science is relatively young, but very intensively developing. The main aspects of the study are:

  1. Factors of outer space and their influence on the organisms of living beings, the vital activity of all living systems in conditions of space or aircraft.
  2. The development of life on our planet with the participation of space, the evolution of living systems and the probability of the existence of biomass beyond the limits of our planet.
  3. Possibilities of constructing closed systems and creating in them real living conditions for the comfortable development and growth of organisms in outer space.

Cosmic medicine and biology are closelyconnected with each other by the sciences, jointly studying the physiological state of living beings in space, their prevalence in interplanetary spaces and evolution.

space biology

Thanks to the research of these sciences it became possibleto select the optimal conditions for finding people in space, and without causing any harm to health. A huge material has been collected on the existence of life in space, the possibilities of plants and animals (unicellular, multicellular) to live and develop in weightlessness.

History of the development of science

The roots of cosmic biology go back to the ancienttime when philosophers and thinkers - naturalists Aristotle, Heraclitus, Plato and others - watched the starry sky, trying to identify the relationship of the Moon and the Sun with the Earth, to understand the reasons for their influence on agricultural land and animals.

Later, in the Middle Ages, attempts beganDetermining the shape of the Earth and explaining its rotation. For a long time on hearing was the theory created by Ptolemy. She said that the Earth is the center of the universe, and all other planets and celestial bodies move around it (a geocentric system).

However, there was another scientist, Pole NicholasCopernicus, who proved the fallacy of these statements and proposed his own, heliocentric system of the structure of the world: in the center - the Sun, and all the planets are moving around. The Sun is also a star. His views were supported by the followers of Giordano Bruno, Newton, Kepler, Galileo.

However, it is space biology as a scienceappeared much later. Only in the XX century Russian scientist Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky developed a system that allows people to penetrate into the cosmic depths and slowly study them. He is rightly considered the father of this science. Also important in the development of cosmobiology were the discoveries in physics and astrophysics, quantum chemistry and mechanics of Einstein, Bohr, Planck, Landau, Fermi, Kapitsa, Bogolyubov and others.

New scientific research that allowed peopleto make long-planned flights to space, made it possible to identify specific medical and biological grounds for the safety and impact of extra-planetary conditions formulated by Tsiolkovsky. What was their essence?

  1. Scientists have been given a theoretical justification for the effect of weightlessness on mammalian organisms.
  2. He modeled several options for creating space conditions in the laboratory.
  3. He proposed variants of receiving food and water by the cosmonauts with the help of plants and a cycle of substances.

Thus, it was Tsiolkovsky that laid all the basic postulates of astronautics, which have not lost their relevance today.

methods of biological research


Modern biological research in the field ofstudying the influence of dynamic factors on the human body in space conditions allow to save the astronauts from the negative influence of these factors.

There are three main dynamic characteristics:

  • vibration;
  • acceleration;
  • weightlessness.

The most unusual and important action on the bodya person is just zero gravity. This is a state in which the force of gravity disappears and it is not replaced by other inertial influences. Thus the person completely loses ability to supervise position of a body in space. This state begins already in the lower layers of the cosmos and is preserved throughout its space.

Medico-biological studies have shown that in the state of weightlessness in the human body the following changes occur:

  1. Heart palpitation is increasing.
  2. Relaxes the muscles (the tone goes away).
  3. Decreased efficiency.
  4. Possible spatial hallucinations.

A man in weightlessness can be up to 86days without harm to health. This has been proved by experience and has been confirmed from a medical point of view. However, one of the tasks of space biology and medicine today is the development of a set of measures to prevent the effects of weightlessness on the human body in general, to eliminate fatigue, enhance and maintain normal working capacity.

There are a number of conditions that cosmonauts observe to overcome weightlessness and maintain control over the body:

  • The design of the aircraft strictly corresponds to the necessary safety standards for passengers;
  • cosmonauts are always carefully fastened to their seats in order to avoid unforeseen flights upwards;
  • all items on the ship have a strictly defined place and are properly secured in order to avoid traumatic situations;
  • Liquids are stored only in closed, hermetically sealed containers.

    methods of biomedical research

In order to achieve good results inOvercoming weightlessness, cosmonauts undergo thorough training on Earth. But, unfortunately, while modern scientific research does not allow creating such conditions in the laboratory. On our planet to overcome gravity is not possible. This is also one of the future tasks for space and medical biology.

Overload in space (acceleration)

Another important factor affectingon the human body, located in space, are acceleration, or overload. The essence of these factors is reduced to an uneven redistribution of the load on the body with strong velocity movements in space. There are two main types of acceleration:

  • short-term;
  • lasting.

As medical and biological research shows, both acceleration is very important in influencing the physiological state of the astronaut's body.

Thus, for example, the action of short-termaccelerations (they last less than 1 second) there can be irreversible changes in the body at the molecular level. Also, if the organs are not trained, they are weak enough, there is a risk of rupture of their shells. Such influences can be carried out when the capsule is separated from the cosmonaut in space, when it is ejected or when the ship lands in orbit.

Therefore, it is very important that the cosmonauts undergo a thorough medical examination and a certain physical preparation before flying into space.

Long-acting acceleration occurs whenlaunching and landing of a rocket, as well as during a flight in some space places of the cosmos. The effect of such accelerations on the body according to the data provided by scientific medical research is the following:

  • palpitation and pulse;
  • faster breathing;
  • the appearance of nausea and weakness, pallor of the skin;
  • vision suffers, a red or black film appears before your eyes;
  • possibly a feeling of pain in the joints, limbs;
  • the tone of the muscle tissue falls;
  • the neuro-humoral regulation varies;
  • gas exchange in the lungs and in the body as a whole becomes different;
  • possibly the appearance of sweating.

Overload and weightlessness makemedical scientists come up with different ways. allowing to adapt, train cosmonauts so that they can withstand the action of these factors without health consequences and without loss of efficiency.

biomedical research

One of the most effective ways of trainingcosmonauts for acceleration is the apparatus of a centrifuge. It is in it that you can observe all the changes that occur in the body under the action of overloads. It also allows you to train and adapt to the influence of this factor.

Flying into space and medicine

Flights into space, of course, have a verya great impact on the health of people, especially untrained or having chronic diseases. Therefore, an important aspect is the medical research of all the subtleties of flight, of all the reactions of the body to the most diverse and incredible effects of non-planetary forces.

Flight in zero gravity makes modernmedicine and biology, to invent and formulate (at the same time, of course) a set of measures to provide cosmonauts with normal nutrition, rest, oxygen supply, preservation of working capacity, and so on.

In addition, medicine is designed to providecosmonauts worthy assistance in the event of unforeseen, emergency situations, as well as protection against the effects of unknown forces of other planets and spaces. This is quite difficult, it takes a lot of time and effort, a great theoretical basis, using only the latest modern equipment and preparations.

In addition, medicine along with physics and biology has the task of protecting astronauts from physical factors of space conditions, such as:

  • temperature;
  • radiation;
  • pressure;
  • meteorites.

Therefore, the study of all these factors and features is very important.

Methods of research in biology

Cosmic biology, like any otherbiological science possesses a certain set of methods that allow research, accumulate theoretical material and confirm it with practical conclusions. These methods over time do not remain unchanged, subject to updates and upgrades in accordance with the current time. However, the historically developed methods of biology still remain relevant to this day. These include:

  1. Observation.
  2. Experiment.
  3. Historical analysis.
  4. Description.
  5. Comparison.

These methods of biological research are basic,relevant at any time. But there are a number of others that have arisen with the development of science and technology, electronic physics and molecular biology. They are called modern and play the most important role in the study of all biological, chemical, medical and physiological processes.

new research

Modern methods

  1. Methods of genetic engineering and bioinformatics.This includes agrobacterial and ballistictransformation, PCR (polymerase chain reactions). The role of biological studies of such a plan is great, since it is they that enable us to find solutions to the problem of feeding and oxygen saturation of rocket launchers and cabins for the cosmonauts' comfortable state.
  2. Methods of protein chemistry and histochemistry. Allows to control proteins and enzymes in living systems.
  3. Use of fluorescence microscopy, super-resolution microscopy.
  4. The use of molecular biology and biochemistryand their research methods.
  5. Biotelemetrya method that results from a combination ofwork of engineers and physicians on a biological basis. It allows you to monitor all physiologically important functions of the body at a distance with the help of radio communication channels of the human body and the computer-registrar. Space biology uses this method as the main method for tracking the effects of space conditions on the astronauts' organisms.
  6. Biological indication of interplanetary space. A very important method of cosmic biology,allowing to estimate interplanetary states of the environment, to receive information about the characteristics of different planets. The basis here is the use of animals with built-in sensors. Exactly experimental animals (mice, dogs, monkeys) extract information from orbits, which is used by earth scientists for analysis and conclusions.

Modern methods of biological research allow solving advanced problems not only of cosmic biology, but also universal.

Problems of space biology

All listed methods of biomedicalUnfortunately, unfortunately, they have not been able to solve all the problems of space biology. There are a number of topical issues that remain urgent to this day. Let us consider the main problems facing space medicine and biology.

  1. Selection of trained personnel for the flight tospace, the state of health of which could meet all the requirements of physicians (including allowing cosmonauts to withstand tough training and training for flights).
  2. A decent level of training and supply of all necessary space crews.
  3. Providing security in all respects (including from unknown or foreign influences from other planets) to workers' ships and aircraft structures.
  4. Psychophysiological rehabilitation of cosmonauts upon their return to Earth.
  5. Development of methods for protecting astronauts and spacecraft from radiation.
  6. Providing normal living conditions in cabins during flights to space.
  7. Development and application of modernized computer technologies in space medicine.
  8. Implementation of space telemedicine and biotechnology. Using the methods of these sciences.
  9. Solution of medical and biological problems for comfortable flights of astronauts to Mars and other planets.
  10. Synthesis of pharmacological agents that will solve the problem of oxygenation in space.

Developed, improved and integrated inapplication methods of biomedical research will necessarily solve all the tasks and problems. However, when this happens - the question is complex and quite unpredictable.

flight in weightlessness

It should be noted that by resolving all these issuesare engaged not only scientists of Russia, but also the scientific council of all countries of the world. And this is a big plus. After all, joint research and research will give an incommensurably greater and faster positive result. Close global cooperation in solving space problems is the key to success in the development of non-planetary space.

Modern achievements

Such achievements are many. After all, every day intensive work is done, thorough and painstaking, which allows you to find more and more new materials, draw conclusions and formulate hypotheses.

One of the most important discoveries of the 21st century is thecosmology was the discovery of water on Mars. This immediately gave rise to dozens of hypotheses about the existence or absence of life on the planet, the possibility of relocation of earthlings to Mars, and so on.

Another discovery was that scientists weredefined age limits, within which a person as comfortable and without serious consequences can be in space. This age starts from 45 years and ends approximately 55-60 years. Young people who go into space suffer psychologically and physiologically very badly when they return to Earth, are hard adapted and rebuilt.

Water was also found on the Moon (2009). Mercury and a large amount of silver were also found on Earth's satellite.

Methods of biological research, as well asengineering-physical indicators allow us to conclude with confidence the harmlessness (at least not more harmful than on Earth) of the effects of ionic radiation and irradiation in space.

Scientific research has proved that a long stay in space does not affect the physical health of the astronauts. However, the problems remain psychologically.

There have been studies showing thathigher plants react differently to being in space. Seeds of some plants during the study showed no genetic changes. Other, on the contrary, showed obvious deformations at the molecular level.

Experiments conducted on the cells and tissues of living organisms (mammals) have proved that the cosmos does not affect the normal state and functioning of these organs.

Different types of medical research(tomography, MRI, blood and urine tests, cardiogram, computed tomography, and so on) made it possible to conclude that the physiological, biochemical, morphological characteristics of human cells remain unchanged when staying in space for up to 86 days.

In the laboratory, thean artificial system that allows one to get as close to the state of weightlessness and thus to study all aspects of the effect of this state on the body. This allowed, in turn, to develop a number of preventive measures to prevent the impact of this factor in human flight in weightlessness.

The results of exobiology were data,indicating the presence of organic systems outside the Earth's biosphere. So far only theoretical formulation of these assumptions has become possible, but soon scientists are planning to obtain and practical evidence.

overload and weightlessness

Thanks to the research of biologists, physicists,physicians, ecologists and chemists, deep mechanisms of people's influence on the biosphere were revealed. It was possible to achieve this by creating artificial ecosystems outside the planet and rendering them the same impact as on Earth.

These are not all achievements of space biology, cosmology and medicine to date, but only the main ones. There is a great potential, the realization of which is the task of the listed sciences for the future.

Life in space

According to modern ideas, life in spacecan exist, since recent discoveries confirm the presence on certain planets of suitable conditions for the emergence and development of life. However, the opinions of scientists in this matter fall into two categories:

  • life is nowhere, except the Earth, never was and never will be;
  • life is in the vast expanses of outer space, but people have not yet discovered it.

Which of the hypotheses is the right one-to decide for everyone personally. There are enough proofs and refutations for one and for the other.

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