Dear visitors of the Planeta Koroleva portal!
Today i, the International Space Station cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, want to tell you about biological experiment onboard the Russian Segment of the International Space Station – the Regeneratsia-1 experiment.
The experiment is staged by the Institute of Biomedical Problems.
The regeneration word meaning results from the Latin words “re” - again, once more and “genus” - family, generation. Regeneration is a revival, renewal, restoration of what had been destroyed. Figuratively it means the turn for the better.
In engineering regeneration means restoration of initial composition and properties of worked-out products with help of certain physical and chemical processes for their reuse. Thus the air regeneration by means of removing from the air waste products of human organism, for example, carbon dioxide, got widespread occurrence in cosmonautics.
We will talk to you today about regeneration in biology. In each living organism throughout all his life there are constantly the restoration and renewal processes. For example, human’s epidermis is constantly renewing, new hair falls out and grows. The birds periodically moult off feathers and grow new ones, and the mammals change fur cover. Such regeneration which is not usually connected with damages or loss, is called physiological. The regeneration taking place after the damage or loss of some part of the body is called reparative. The research of this particular phenomenon is a purpose of the Regeneration-1 experiment realizing since 2014th. Research object in the experiment are Planaria and snails.
This time (in December 2015) I brought only container with snails, the same snails i will return to the Earth in June this year.
Fig. 1 Snail container
Fig.2. Regeneration of eye horns of the pulmonary snails, exposed onboard
One of the main reasons why this research is performed onboard the ISS RS, is obtaining the information related to the harmed organs and tissues’ regeneration in space flight conditions, which will be useful in the measurement system concerning medical maintenance of human space flights, which includes longtime space flights provision.
The experiment is conducted as on the Earth, as onboard the ISS RS. After returning from space flight the results are compared. In the experiment there are carried out the researches on studying organ of vision (eye horns) regeneration, after their removal the day before space flight, on a pulmonary snail, and the whole organism composed of separate body fragments on freshwater Planaria. Researches’ results showed preserving high regeneration capability in the orbital flight, wherefrom the conclusion arises that absence of gravity isn’t a limiting factor for regeneration mechanisms’ realization. But in some cases the flight snails’ regenerated horns were twisted, had specific outgrowths, which as a rule are absent for animals monitored on the Earth. Also Planaria body was twisted. The reasons of this phenomenon are not definitely known yet, but we, the cosmonauts, hope that results of this experiment will help future investigators of Solar system planets in long-term space flights. The research is continuing.