Friday, 24 March 2017

How cells adapt rapidly to zero gravity

Mammalian cells are optimally adapted to gravity. But what happens in the microgravity environment of space if the earth's pull disappears? Previously, many experiments exhibited cell changes -- after hours or even days in zero gravity. Astronauts, however, returned to Earth without any severe health problems after long missions in space, which begs the question as to how capable cells are of adapting to changes in gravity. Based on real-time readings on the ISS, UZH scientists can now reveal that cells are able to respond to changes in gravitational conditions extremely quickly and keep on functioning. Therefore, the study also provides direct evidence that certain cell functions are linked to gravity.


Cora S. Thiel, Diane de ZĂ©licourt, Svantje Tauber, Astrid Adrian, Markus Franz, Dana M. Simmet, Kathrin Schoppmann, Swantje Hauschild, Sonja Krammer, Miriam Christen, Gesine Bradacs, Katrin Paulsen, Susanne A. Wolf, Markus Braun, Jason Hatton, Vartan Kurtcuoglu, Stefanie Franke, Samuel Tanner, Samantha Cristoforetti, Beate Sick, Bertold Hock, Oliver Ullrich. Rapid adaptation to microgravity in mammalian macrophage cells. Scientific Reports, 2017; 7 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-00119-6

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Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle