1
   

Aliens?

 
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Apr, 2006 05:50 pm
While that may be so, the reason i said i find this boring is that it ignores very basic and reasonable human realities. Setting up lasers in space, even if dependent upon solar energy, as Chumly, posits most recently, and ignoring the preposterous claim that it could be useful for long-lasting, deep space travel--would involve huge expenditures of resources and energy, especially when one considers that he's speculating on propelling a "biosphere" over interstellar distances.

Leaving aside the issue of human disunity and regional conflict, citizens expect, not unreasonably, that they can live in relatively clean cities and towns with fire protection and police services, either easy access to private transportation, or public transportation services, access to health care and access to education.

Now, factoring in human disunity and regional conflict, how does one purport that it will feasible to assemble and expend over decades the resources and energy necessary to lauch the building materials into space, build the lasers, build the biosphere, put a crew on board and launch it? Where is it going? What provision is to be made for the possibility that there will be no inhabitable or "terraformable" planet in the target star system?

The entire scenario is pie in the sky. It ignores some very serious problems even if one assumes the deep space transportation is available. In assuming it is available, it ignores the realities of providing the necessary enormous energy and resource requirement for the project.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Apr, 2006 05:51 pm
As i pointed out a couple of pages ago, people don't like the idea of being told that they cannot accomplish something--too bad.

This is why i became bored with science fiction literature by the time i was 30. Most of it has a "wouldn't it be cool if" basis . . .
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Apr, 2006 05:56 pm
Setanta wrote:
While that may be so, the reason i said i find this boring is that it ignores very basic and reasonable human realities. Setting up lasers in space, even if dependent upon solar energy, as Chumly, posits most recently, and ignoring the preposterous claim that it could be useful for long-lasting, deep space travel--would involve huge expenditures of resources and energy, especially when one considers that he's speculating on propelling a "biosphere" over interstellar distances.

Leaving aside the issue of human disunity and regional conflict, citizens expect, not unreasonably, that they can live in relatively clean cities and towns with fire protection and police services, either easy access to private transportation, or public transportation services, access to health care and access to education.

Now, factoring in human disunity and regional conflict, how does one purport that it will feasible to assemble and expend over decades the resources and energy necessary to lauch the building materials into space, build the lasers, build the biosphere, put a crew on board and launch it? Where is it going? What provision is to be made for the possibility that there will be no inhabitable or "terraformable" planet in the target star system?

The entire scenario is pie in the sky. It ignores some very serious problems even if one assumes the deep space transportation is available. In assuming it is available, it ignores the realities of providing the necessary enormous energy and resource requirement for the project.
I would expect, that in no way you would assume I do not know this, and that you are simply pointing out the obvious, assuming present conditions as we understand them.

But for the sake of argument; I'll say flight to the nearest stars is a damn sight more plausible then many of the numerous, massive historical efforts of man (the failures I refer to), and further that efforts in the realm of space flight are likely to have shorter term technological benefits that could far outweigh the ongoing costs.
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Apr, 2006 06:14 pm
Setanta wrote:
As i pointed out a couple of pages ago, people don't like the idea of being told that they cannot accomplish something--too bad.

This is why i became bored with science fiction literature by the time i was 30. Most of it has a "wouldn't it be cool if" basis . . .
Me I have never considered SF to be predictive. Further, many of our finest scientists would counter your claim of it being boring and limited to the gee whiz factor.

Depending on of course the definition of SF which we have yet to get to!
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Apr, 2006 06:16 pm
You contend that "many of our finest scientists" would deny that science fiction literature is boring? Got a good reason to say that, nevermind a definition of "many" or of "finest," and your means for determining the latter?
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Apr, 2006 06:32 pm
Setanta wrote:
You contend that "many of our finest scientists" would deny that science fiction literature is boring? Got a good reason to say that, nevermind a definition of "many" or of "finest," and your means for determining the latter?
You gonna make me work fer me supper? I'll get more if it makes any sense to carry on, though for what net benefit is beyond me, are you actually interested, or is this for arguments sake only? If you are actually interested what is the relevance to this admittedly drifting thread?

Dr. Arthur C. Clarke credited with laying the framework for future geostationary communications satellites. While at King's College in 1945, he published "Extra-Terrestrial Relays", a paper which outlined the principles of communication using satellites in geostationary orbits. Clarke is also an expert in paleoanthropology.

Dr. Gregory Benford is a science fiction author and physicist who is on the faculty of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Gregory Benford has published over twenty books, mostly novels. Nearly all remain in print, some after a quarter of a century. His fiction has won many awards, including the Nebula Award for his novel Timescape. A winner of the United Nations Medal for Literature, he is a professor of physics at the University of California, Irvine. He is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, was Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University, and in 1995 received the Lord Prize for contributions to science.

His 1999 analysis of what endures, Deep Time: How Humanity Communicates Across Millennia, has been widely read. A fellow of the American Physical Society and a member of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences, he continues his research in both astrophysics and plasma physics. Time allowing, he continues to write both fiction and nonfiction. Recently he began a series on science and society with biologist Michael Rose, published on the Internet at Amazon Shorts.com

Dr. Robert L. Forward worked for 31 years at the Hughes Aircraft Company Corporate Research Laboratories in Malibu, CA in positions of increasing responsibility until he took early retirement in 1987 to spend more time on writing novels and his aerospace consulting company business - Forward Unlimited. During his tenure at Hughes, he received 18 patents, and published numerous papers on experimental gravity instruments and measurements, including the first paper on using the normal modes of the Earth to set an upper limit on interstellar millicycle gravitational radiation; a paper on the details of the wideband "chirp" signal to be expected from the gravitational collapse of a binary neutron star pair; and a method for "flattening" spacetime over a hatbox-sized region in an orbiting microgravity space lab to the picogravity level.

Forward also published the first paper showing that it was possible to build and operate a laser interferometer gravitational radiation antenna that was photon noise limited over the band from 1-20 kHz, and that further improvements in gravitational strain sensitivity needed only more laser power and longer lengths in the interferometer arms. The broadband gravitational strain sensitivity his laser interferometer antenna reached in 1972 was not bettered for over a decade. Forward also invented the multidirectional spherical bar antenna for gravitational radiation, and the rotating cruciform gravity gradiometer Mass Detector for Lunar Mascon measurements (which Misner, Wheeler & Thorne pointed out can detect the curvature of spacetime produced by a fist).

From the time of his retirement from Hughes in 1987 onward, Forward was a consultant for the Air Force and NASA on advanced space propulsion concepts, with an emphasis on propulsion methods (lightsail, antimatter, electrodynamic tether, etc.), that use physical principles other than chemical or nuclear rockets. In 1992 he formed the company, Tethers Unlimited, with Dr. Robert P. Hoyt. When he reached 70 he "retired" to part time consulting and writing.

In addition to over 200 papers and articles, Forward published 11 "hard" science fiction novels, where the science is as accurate as possible-consistent with telling a good story. Forward "taught" science through his novels. His first book, DRAGON'S EGG, expanded upon Frank Drake's idea of tiny fast-living creatures living on the surface of a neutron star. Forward called it, "A textbook on neutron star physics disguised as a novel." The book is often assigned as "extra credit reading" in beginning astronomy courses. The science in his books has often been novel enough that many of his fiction books have been referenced in journal publications as "prior art publications".

Dr. Geoffrey A. Landis Research Scientist Photovoltaics and Space Environment Branch, NASA John Glenn Research Center, SF author.

Dr. Marvin Lee Minsky Cognitive Scientist in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), co-founder of MIT's AI laboratory, and author of several texts on AI and philosophy. He co-wrote SF novel "The Turing Option".

Dr. Carl Edward Sagan Astronomer, astrobiologist, and highly successful science popularizer. He pioneered exobiology and promoted the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI).
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Apr, 2006 07:19 pm
Have fun,

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc.
0 Replies
 
USAFHokie80
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 12:19 am
Solar powered spacecraft is ridiculous. So we can power a few satellites... so what? Those satellites have panels attached to them that comprise an enormous portion of their total mass. Solar cells produce relatively low energy densities. As I've pointed out, a laser to supply a ship with enough momentum to be at all useful would require millions and millions of megawatts. And I'm not even going to mention the fact that most electrical/electronic devices only work at a 50%-80% efficiency.

As for my "6000 years" to be ridiculous... Alpha Centauri is 4.3 ly from here. Of course, there is little probability that it actually contains life. So let's say we have to travel 20ly to find any life. Which, given the vastness of space, I think is more than generous. Again, with Apollo 10... the fastest manned craft ever built... it takes 270 earth years to travel a SINGLE light year. SO, 20 ly * 270 earth years = 5400 earth years. So hell, say we can travel at 200% that of Apollo 10... You're still looking at nearly 3000 years. That's a ****-ton of nuclear fuel.

Even if your "biosphere" were "nuclear powered," how exactly do you plan to propel it?

Nuclear reactors generate heat... which vaporizes water, which turns a turbine... and we get electricity. However, this doesn't provide us a means of propulsion. We would need to eject some sort of matter, ie. rockets and exhaust and whatnot. FYI... rocket thrusters cannot run on solar power. Oh, and solar power... only works in relatively close proximity to a star.

An "Ion drive" would still require a consumable fuel from which to generate the ions. And then it has to be a fuel with a low electron affinity, else it would require more energy to split the atoms/molecules into ions than it would actually produce.
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 01:25 am
USAFHokie80 wrote:
Solar powered spacecraft is ridiculous. So we can power a few satellites... so what? Those satellites have panels attached to them that comprise an enormous portion of their total mass. Solar cells produce relatively low energy densities. As I've pointed out, a laser to supply a ship with enough momentum to be at all useful would require millions and millions of megawatts. And I'm not even going to mention the fact that most electrical/electronic devices only work at a 50%-80% efficiency.
The above in no way means it could not be done only that it would be mighty hard, that condition is self evident, and not relevant to the view of it being within our technological scope, Recall I have spelled this out to you many times prior. Solar Power Satellites are a realizable goal (that was a link if you were not sure). And here is a qutoe from that source "My own SSI-sponsored work, based on earlier work by Geoffrey Landis and Ronald Cull at the NASA Lewis Research Center, has shown that an SPS could be built using thin-film solar cells deposited on lightweight substrates. Such an SPS could deliver perhaps ten times as much power per unit mass as older designs. The combination of lightweight materials, inexpensive launch systems, and a space infrastructure can make the SPS a reality. No breakthroughs in physics would be required."
USAFHokie80 wrote:
As for my "6000 years" to be ridiculous... Alpha Centauri is 4.3 ly from here. Of course, there is little probability that it actually contains life. So let's say we have to travel 20ly to find any life.
Where did I ever say my premise for this type of travel was based on finding life? Show me where I said my premise for this type of travel was based on finding life. Sounds like you are arguing for argument's sake and changing the conditions to suit your POV (in this case the distance traveled).
USAFHokie80 wrote:
You're still looking at nearly 3000 years. That's a ****-ton of nuclear fuel.
As discussed, you are changing the conditions to suit your POV (in this case the distance traveled). So we stay with the nearest star Proxima Centauri @ 4 light-years and not your 3000 years / 20 light-year parameters.
USAFHokie80 wrote:
Even if your "biosphere" were "nuclear powered," how exactly do you plan to propel it?
Already discussed with Solar Powered Satellites vis-a-vis laser energy.
USAFHokie80 wrote:
Nuclear reactors generate heat... which vaporizes water, which turns a turbine... and we get electricity.
That's nice, but the biosphere would not use turbines to generate internal power, more likely passive hot/cold differential electricity generation.
USAFHokie80 wrote:
However, this doesn't provide us a means of propulsion. We would need to eject some sort of matter, ie. rockets and exhaust and whatnot. FYI... rocket thrusters cannot run on solar power. Oh, and solar power... only works in relatively close proximity to a star.
Been through this already with the SPS generating focused laser beams, no action reaction matter expulsion for acceleration needed, also as discussed no distance limit considerations for travel to Proxima Centauri @ 4 light-years not your 20 light-years.
USAFHokie80 wrote:
An "Ion drive" would still require a consumable fuel from which to generate the ions. And then it has to be a fuel with a low electron affinity, else it would require more energy to split the atoms/molecules into ions than it would actually produce.
I postulated the ion drive for either a very light unmanned (one way) craft or possibility reverse thrust for the biosphere, I am aware of how an ion drive works and it's 10X speed improvement over conventional chemical engines. I also postulated (did you take the time to read my posts) that the biosphere trip to Proxima Centauri / Alpha Centauri might be one way.
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 02:04 am
USAFHokie80,

BTW the whole concept becomes much easier if a method of reduced metabolization is developed, and although I agree this is speculative, many higher mammals can hibernate for extended periods, so we know it's not out of the question.

If so, resource consumption and multi generation considerations could well be lessened to a notable degree.

New Hibernation Technique Might Work on Humans

A new trick could one day put humans into a hibernation-like state without all the frigid antics of an Austin Powers movie or an Arthur C. Clarke story.

Using a natural chemical humans and other animals produce in their bodies, scientists have for the first time induced hibernation in mammals, putting mice into a state similar to suspended animation for up to six hours and then bringing them back to normal life.

The breakthrough suggests humans along with other mammals might harbor a mostly unused ability to hibernate on demand. Further research into the phenomenon could lead to medical advances, such as buying time for humans awaiting an organ transplant, scientists said.
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 02:07 am
Hi USAFHokie80,

BTW the whole concept becomes much easier if a method of reduced metabolization is developed. As you know many higher mammals can hibernate for extended periods, so we know it's not out of the question. If so, resource consumption and multi generation considerations could well be lessened to a notable degree.

New Hibernation Technique Might Work on Humans
Quote:
A new trick could one day put humans into a hibernation-like state without all the frigid antics of an Austin Powers movie or an Arthur C. Clarke story.

Using a natural chemical humans and other animals produce in their bodies, scientists have for the first time induced hibernation in mammals, putting mice into a state similar to suspended animation for up to six hours and then bringing them back to normal life.

The breakthrough suggests humans along with other mammals might harbor a mostly unused ability to hibernate on demand. Further research into the phenomenon could lead to medical advances, such as buying time for humans awaiting an organ transplant, scientists said.

Quote:
A Norwegian skier was rescued in 1999 after being submerged in icy water for more than an hour. She had no heartbeat and her body temperature was 57 degrees Fahrenheit (normal is 98.6). She recovered.

Canadian toddler Erika Nordby wandered outside at night and nearly froze to death in 2001. She wore only a diaper and T-shirt. It was minus 11 Fahrenheit (-24 Celsius). When found, her heart had stopped beating for two hours and her body temperature was 61 degrees. She suffered severe frostbite but required no amputations and otherwise recovered.

"Understanding the connections between random instances of seemingly miraculous, unexplained survival in so-called clinically dead humans and our ability to induce - and reverse - metabolic quiescence in model organisms could have dramatic implications for medical care," Roth said. "In the end I suspect there will be clinical benefits and it will change the way medicine is practiced, because we will, in short, be able to buy patients time."
0 Replies
 
USAFHokie80
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 09:13 am
I already agreed that solar powered satellites were possible... as they're already IN space. However, you just keep spouting out things and we can do this and that, and don't bother to think of the physics side of it. You obviously have NO concept of just how much power something like that would take, and how difficult it is to generate.

Q) Which is bigger, the laser(s) or the biosphere ?


I'm terribly sorry that I assumed this mission was to find life. Though, the name of this thread is "Aliens." And I don't see how that matters either way. 4.3ly is still 1161 earth years.

Reading your responses to me, it seems like it is you who is arguing for the sake of arguing. You keep offering up these magical new technologies like a "big honkin biosphere" which have real-world basis or examples.... Case in point, you completely made up this "hot/cold differential power" system.

Now, please don't just sidestep this with an arguement. I'm actually very curious how one generates electricity, NOT mechanical force, with a "hot/cold differential." You say you don't need a steam turbine, so what will generate your power?

Do you actually know the processes of HOW power is generated by mechanical forces? Do you understand the principles of inductance and magnexic flux ?



About the "reduced metabalism"... those "higher mammals" only survive that because their body is feeding of a type of fat that humans do NOT have. That being said... SURE, let's chemically sedate the whole crew. Now, how long would they be asleep? I'll assume the best... they're being fed intravenously..

Q) How long do they sleep?
0 Replies
 
USAFHokie80
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 09:30 am
Chumly wrote:
Hi USAFHokie80,

BTW the whole concept becomes much easier if a method of reduced metabolization is developed. As you know many higher mammals can hibernate for extended periods, so we know it's not out of the question. If so, resource consumption and multi generation considerations could well be lessened to a notable degree.

New Hibernation Technique Might Work on Humans
Quote:
A new trick could one day put humans into a hibernation-like state without all the frigid antics of an Austin Powers movie or an Arthur C. Clarke story.

Using a natural chemical humans and other animals produce in their bodies, scientists have for the first time induced hibernation in mammals, putting mice into a state similar to suspended animation for up to six hours and then bringing them back to normal life.

The breakthrough suggests humans along with other mammals might harbor a mostly unused ability to hibernate on demand. Further research into the phenomenon could lead to medical advances, such as buying time for humans awaiting an organ transplant, scientists said.

Quote:
A Norwegian skier was rescued in 1999 after being submerged in icy water for more than an hour. She had no heartbeat and her body temperature was 57 degrees Fahrenheit (normal is 98.6). She recovered.

Canadian toddler Erika Nordby wandered outside at night and nearly froze to death in 2001. She wore only a diaper and T-shirt. It was minus 11 Fahrenheit (-24 Celsius). When found, her heart had stopped beating for two hours and her body temperature was 61 degrees. She suffered severe frostbite but required no amputations and otherwise recovered.

"Understanding the connections between random instances of seemingly miraculous, unexplained survival in so-called clinically dead humans and our ability to induce - and reverse - metabolic quiescence in model organisms could have dramatic implications for medical care," Roth said. "In the end I suspect there will be clinical benefits and it will change the way medicine is practiced, because we will, in short, be able to buy patients time."


So I'm sitting here with my boyfriend, who just happens to be a physician... And he's explaining to me that we can put someone into a stasis, or coma... same thing. However, would require artificial respiration, less you asphyxiate on your own secretions. And then there is a 1% in 24hrs chance that you will contract pneumonia. So they frequently change your endotracheal tubes. People also very often fall victim to blood clots from prolonged immobility. Then he's telling me that people also grow tolerant to a lot of modern sedatives, so the dosage must be increased slowly to keep someone under. Now about the feeding... apparently IV feeding is only meant to be used for a few months at most because the insertions site become infected. So the IV would need to be changed. There is also a very good chance of liver failure with TPN (total parenteral nutrition). You would also need a catheter into your bladder to release urine.

Even if all this was done, and someone was successfully put into a hibernation state, this is no way would increase his life expectancy. His metabolism might have slowed down some, but thinking that he is going to live for 150years in that state is silly.
0 Replies
 
USAFHokie80
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 09:47 am
I just read the little things about the skier that survives the icy water. I wanted to point out that we already know it's more likely for someone to live if they are hypothermic than someone who sufficates at just-below normal body temp. Also, children are much more successfully recovered. But the process is poorly understod and cannot be consistantly reproduced.
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 01:25 pm
USAFHokie80 wrote:
Reading your responses to me, it seems like it is you who is arguing for the sake of arguing. You keep offering up these magical new technologies like a "big honkin biosphere" which have real-world basis or examples.... Case in point, you completely made up this "hot/cold differential power" system.


USAFHokie80 wrote:
Case in point, you completely made up this "hot/cold differential power" system.
Thermo-Electric Generators

You have got to be kidding me
Quote:
Thermo-electric generators convert heat directly into electricity, using the voltage generated at the junction of two different metals. The history begins in 1821 when Thomas Johann Seebeck found that an electrical current would flow in a circuit made from two dissimilar metals, with the junctions at different temperatures. This is called the Seebeck effect. Apart from power generation, it is the basis for the thermocouple, a widely used method of temperature measurement.
The voltage produced is proportional to the temperature difference between the two junctions. The proportionality constant a is called the Seebeck coefficient.

A series-connected array of thermocouples was known as a "thermopile", by analogy with the Voltaic pile, a chemical battery with the elements stacked on top of each other.The thermopile was developed by Leopoldo Nobili (1784-1835)and Macedonio Melloni (1798-1854). It was initially used for measurements of temperature and infra-red radiation, but was also rapidly put to use as a stable supply of electricity for other physics experimentation.
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 01:43 pm
USAFHokie80 wrote:
So I'm sitting here with my boyfriend, who just happens to be a physician... And he's explaining to me that we can put someone into a stasis, or coma... same thing. However, would require artificial respiration, less you asphyxiate on your own secretions. And then there is a 1% in 24hrs chance that you will contract pneumonia. So they frequently change your endotracheal tubes. People also very often fall victim to blood clots from prolonged immobility. Then he's telling me that people also grow tolerant to a lot of modern sedatives, so the dosage must be increased slowly to keep someone under. Now about the feeding... apparently IV feeding is only meant to be used for a few months at most because the insertions site become infected. So the IV would need to be changed. There is also a very good chance of liver failure with TPN (total parenteral nutrition). You would also need a catheter into your bladder to release urine.

Even if all this was done, and someone was successfully put into a hibernation state, this is no way would increase his life expectancy. His metabolism might have slowed down some, but thinking that he is going to live for 150years in that state is silly.
I refer to the possibly, (only as an interesting aside not as pivotal the premise in question) that some day this might be a viable technology, provide a link to what is being researched, and you come back with the obvious and cliché drivel that (in essence agues) it can't be done right now, (who would have ever thought that?). Further you clearly did non even read the link, as your references appear to be about decreasing temperatures and sedatives which is not the main thrust of the research I pointed to.
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 01:52 pm
USAFHokie80 wrote:
I just read the little things about the skier that survives the icy water. I wanted to point out that we already know it's more likely for someone to live if they are hypothermic than someone who sufficates at just-below normal body temp. Also, children are much more successfully recovered. But the process is poorly understod and cannot be consistantly reproduced.
If there is a point to your above post it's beyond. Again you clearly did not read link and the contained the text, the example I quoted in the link was for the purposes of demonstrating that the body has mechanisms that may induce metabolic slow down. Since you obliviously don't read my links I'll post the whole thing for you reading pleasure.
Quote:
A new trick could one day put humans into a hibernation-like state without all the frigid antics of an Austin Powers movie or an Arthur C. Clarke story.

Using a natural chemical humans and other animals produce in their bodies, scientists have for the first time induced hibernation in mammals, putting mice into a state similar to suspended animation for up to six hours and then bringing them back to normal life.

The breakthrough suggests humans along with other mammals might harbor a mostly unused ability to hibernate on demand. Further research into the phenomenon could lead to medical advances, such as buying time for humans awaiting an organ transplant, scientists said.

"We are, in essence, temporarily converting mice from warm-blooded to cold-blooded creatures, which is exactly the same thing that happens naturally when mammals hibernate," said lead researcher Mark Roth of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

During the induced hibernation, cells virtually stopped working, reducing the rodents' need for oxygen.

"We think this may be a latent ability that all mammals have - potentially even humans - and we're just harnessing it and turning it on and off, inducing a state of hibernation on demand," Roth said.

The results are detailed in the April 22 issue of the journal Science.

Humans already hibernate

Squirrels, bears, snakes and many other animals hibernate naturally, some more deeply than others. Humans have been known to hibernate by accident, Roth and his colleagues point out.

A Norwegian skier was rescued in 1999 after being submerged in icy water for more than an hour. She had no heartbeat and her body temperature was 57 degrees Fahrenheit (normal is 98.6). She recovered.

Canadian toddler Erika Nordby wandered outside at night and nearly froze to death in 2001. She wore only a diaper and T-shirt. It was minus 11 Fahrenheit (-24 Celsius). When found, her heart had stopped beating for two hours and her body temperature was 61 degrees. She suffered severe frostbite but required no amputations and otherwise recovered.

"Understanding the connections between random instances of seemingly miraculous, unexplained survival in so-called clinically dead humans and our ability to induce - and reverse - metabolic quiescence in model organisms could have dramatic implications for medical care," Roth said. "In the end I suspect there will be clinical benefits and it will change the way medicine is practiced, because we will, in short, be able to buy patients time."

Back from the dead?

Already there are companies that will gladly freeze the dead in hopes some way of curing and reviving them might develop in the future. The field is called cryonics. So far, no one has been brought back.

The trick with the mice didn't require freezing. Instead, the rodents breathed air laced with hydrogen sulfide, a chemical produced naturally in the bodies of humans and other animals. Within minutes, they stopped moving and soon their cell functions approached total inactivity.

Humans use hydrogen sulfide to "buffer our metabolic flexibility," Roth explained. "It's what allows our core temperature to stay at 98.6 degrees, regardless of whether we're in Alaska or Tahiti."

In extreme doses, the hydrogen sulfide is thought to bind to cells in place of oxygen. The organism's metabolism shuts down. Upon breathing normal air again, the mice "quickly regained normal function and metabolic activity with no long-term negative effects," the researchers report. They plan to test the technique on larger mammals next.

Practical uses

"Hibernating humans and space travel aside," Roth told LiveScience, "we hope that 'metabolic flexibility' can be used to enhance trauma care, surgical outcome, and organ transplant."

Among the first applications in humans might be to reduce severe fevers, when a patient is near death. Clinical trials for such a procedure could begin in five years, the scientists say.

"We believe we know how to flip the breaker on the patient's furnace," Roth said. "If they have a fever, we believe we know how to stop it on a dime."

For cancer patients, Roth speculated that temporarily eliminating oxygen dependence in healthy cells could make them less vulnerable targets to radiation and chemotherapy.

"Right now in most forms of cancer treatment we're killing off the normal cells long before we're killing off the tumor cells," he said. "By inducing metabolic hibernation in healthy tissue we'd at least level the playing field."

Eric Blackstone, a graduate research assistant in Roth's laboratory, was lead author of the journal paper.
0 Replies
 
USAFHokie80
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 01:55 pm
you didn't answer my question about the size of the laser and biosphere... which is larger? and how long are these humans supposed to sleep?
0 Replies
 
USAFHokie80
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 01:57 pm
Quote:
is being researched, and you come back with the obvious and cliché drivel that (in essence agues) it can't be done right now,


I'm pretty sure you said interstellar travel is possible with "today's technology."
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Apr, 2006 02:01 pm
And you did not apologize for:

1) your specious and uncalled for personal attack that I "completely made up this "hot/cold differential power" system"

2) Not reading the links I have presented
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

How can we be sure? - Discussion by Raishu-tensho
Proof of nonexistence of free will - Discussion by litewave
morals and ethics, how are they different? - Question by existential potential
Destroy My Belief System, Please! - Discussion by Thomas
Star Wars in Philosophy. - Discussion by Logicus
Existence of Everything. - Discussion by Logicus
Is it better to be feared or loved? - Discussion by Black King
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Aliens?
  3. » Page 6
Copyright © 2022 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 01/24/2022 at 08:51:27