OCT 11, 2016 11:11 AM PDT

Can Humans Survive in Space?


Space travel takes its toll on astronauts. Microgravity can affect muscle and bone growth. Radiation can cause damaging mutations. The harsh environment in space might prove too uncompromising to adapt to. However, evolution has shown that humans can adapt to difficult conditions. We can develop heat and cold tolerance living in different climates. People who live at high altitudes have developed thicker blood to accommodate lower oxygen levels.

In addition to our own evolutionary adaptability, we are gaining the technology to potentially help ourselves adapt quicker than waiting on evolution. For example, gene editing technology could possibly provide a method to change out harmful genes in the genome for advantageous ones. Another useful technology that could help us adapt to the space environment is microbial engineering, creating microbes that can create protective proteins to reduce radiation effects or send signals to bone cells to regenerate themselves and prevent osteoporosis. With the potential to develop tools to help humans adapt in space, maybe long term space travel isn't so far off.
About the Author
  • I love all things science and am passionate about bringing science to the public through writing. With an M.S. in Genetics and experience in cancer research, marketing and technical writing, it is a pleasure to share the latest trends and findings in science on LabRoots.
You May Also Like
SEP 21, 2018
Videos
SEP 21, 2018
How Artificial Sweeteners Impact the Body
Sugar alternatives may be low in calories, but they are probably not without consequence....
SEP 24, 2018
Plants & Animals
SEP 24, 2018
Here's Why Goat Eyes Look Weird
Taking a closer look at a goat’s eyeball, you might notice that their pupils are elongated from side-to-side rather than round like a human’s;...
SEP 25, 2018
Videos
SEP 25, 2018
Predicting Influenza: Could Private Health Data Help?
Health data, such as information contained in a patient’s electronic health record, is closely guarded to ensure privacy and compliance with HIPAA la...
OCT 06, 2018
Videos
OCT 06, 2018
Learning More About the Genetics of Depression
Volunteers in the UK are participating in the largest study on the biological causes of depression that has ever been conducted....
OCT 20, 2018
Videos
OCT 20, 2018
Understanding how the Immune System is Controlled
Scientists are trying to learn more about a gene, PTPN22, that is especially critical to the immune system....
OCT 22, 2018
Videos
OCT 22, 2018
How Many Bacteria are There in the World?
Researchers once thought that there were only a few thousand bacterial species on the planet - a gross underestimation....
Loading Comments...