Muscle loss tested in artificial gravity

Sep 15, 2005

University of California-Irvine researchers say a bike-like centrifuge that creates artificial gravity may help astronauts combat muscle atrophy in space.

The National Space Biomedical Research Institute is exploring the concept of a Space Cycle for in-flight resistance-training exercise.

"Even with onboard exercise, astronauts face the risk of losing muscle mass and function because their muscles are not bearing enough weight, or load," said Dr. Vincent Caiozzo, lead investigator. "For exploration, it is important to find ways to increase load-bearing activity so astronauts can maintain strength."

The Space Cycle, a human-powered centrifuge under testing in Caiozzo's lab, generates various levels of artificial gravity ranging from Earth gravity to five times Earth's gravity.

Participants ride opposite one another. As one person pedals, the cycle moves in a circular motion, generating pressure on the rider, forcing him against the seat in a manner similar to the effect of gravity on Earth, scientists said.

On the platform, the other person performs squat exercises. Instruments on the device report the separate work rates of the participants.

Caiozzo is a professor in UC-Irvine's departments of orthopedic surgery, physiology and biophysics.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Thermonuclear supernova ejects our galaxy's fastest star (w/ video)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Color-coading gene sequences in human cells

36 minutes ago

(Phys.org)—Is there a way to peer inside the nucleus of a living cell and see how the genes interact? After the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2001, researchers have focused on epigenetic factors, ...

Recommended for you

'Planck' puts Einstein to the test

12 hours ago

Researchers, including physicists from Heidelberg University, have gained new insights into dark energy and the theory of gravitation by analysing data from the "Planck" satellite mission of the European ...

Distant supernova split four ways by gravitational lens

13 hours ago

Over the past several decades, astronomers have come to realize that the sky is filled with magnifying glasses that allow the study of very distant and faint objects barely visible with even the largest telescopes.

Testing to diagnose power event in Mars rover

18 hours ago

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is expected to remain stationary for several days of engineering analysis following an onboard fault-protection action on Feb. 27 that halted a process of transferring sample material ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.