A new study on the effect of low and high gravity on the human body was conducted by researchers at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology in Japan in collaboration with researchers from other international universities. The study, which was issued in April in the Scientific Reports, concentrated upon how bones and muscles modify while the astronomers are in space.
How the researchers studied gravity’s effects
It is worth mentioning that the experiment conducted had taken place primarily in space on the International Space Station with the help of Kibo, a module of the space station. Tests were also carried on the surface of Earth.
Lab mice were the main subjects of the experiment. The scientists studied how bones and muscles behave while in two gravitational environments, microgravity and hypergravity. In microgravity, or micro-g, the gravitational force equivalent is not 0, but it is minimal and is comparable to weightlessness. The astronomers that are on the IISS live in a micro-g environment.
In hypergravity, the force of gravity is more significant than it is on Earth and is bigger than 1G. This type of gravity can be achieved only with special tech. The team used modernized centrifuge devices which simulated 2G hypergravity on Earth and made use of the 1G gravity on the International Space Station.
The effects of low and high gravity on the human body
What the team of researchers discovered was that the bones are the first to suffer changes. In mice, and therefore all animals that have 4 feet, the humerus and tibia suffered a mass alteration.
These changes happened in low gravity in space. At the same time, in high gravity (2G), the force of gravity had positive effects as the mass of muscles from the knee to ankle increased.
The scientists have a long go to study gravity and how it alters our bodies, but the new discovery can lead to the creation of medicine that can help in ailments such as sarcopenia and osteoporosis.