The End of the Spacesuit

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Researchers reveal nano coating that could revolutionize space travel

Scientists have created a ‘nano-suit’ for  fruit fly larvae which could eventually spell the end of the human  spacesuit.

Researchers in Japan discovered that they can  protect larvae from the effects of exposure to a space-like vacuum by bombarding  them with electrons.

Without the treatment, the larvae shrivel and  die within a few minutes.

Without the electron coating the larva shriveled and died
The larva did not dehydrate when subjected to electron bombardment
 Normally a larva exposed to a vacuum will shrivel and  die (above), but when protected by a ‘nano-suit’ a larva can survive  (below)

HOW DOES THE ‘NANO-SUIT’  WORK?

When animals are exposed to a space-like  vacuum they are in danger of dehydrating because the water is sucked from their  bodies.

Japanese researchers found a way of  preventing this happening which avoids the need for a traditional  spacesuit.

They bombarded a larva with electrons which  caused the molecules in the film covering its skin to stick together.

This created a protective layer flexible  enough to allow it to move, but solid enough to stop dehydration.

Most insects do not have the natural layer  that can be transformed into a ‘nano-suit’ so the researchers also made an  artificial alternative.

They submerged mosquito larvae in a bath of  water and Tween 20 – a non-toxic chemical – before covering them in  plasma.

This caused the Tween 20 to create a  nano-suit similar to that created naturally by the fruit fly larvae.

However, the researchers at Hamamatsu  University School of Medicine discovered that when they are protected by a ‘nano-suit’ created by electron bombardment, they can survive the space-like  conditions.

Science has  reported that the ‘nano-suit’ works like a miniature space suit meaning that it  could eventually be used by humans if applied using an electron shower.

To conduct the study, Japanese scientists  placed a tiny larva in a scanning electron microscope and bombarded it with  electrons. It survived the experience and went on to develop into a healthy  fly.

By contrast, they also placed another larva  in the same scanning electron microscope without the electron bombardment and  this one quickly died of dehydration because, as predicted, the vacuum sucked  the water out of its body.

When the researchers studied the skin of the  insects they found that the electron treatment had changed the thin film  covering the surviving larva’s skin – it had caused its molecules to stick  together creating a layer flexible enough to allow it to move, but strong enough  to protect it from dehydration.

However, most insects do not have natural  layers than can be transformed into ‘nano-suits’ so the scientists decided to  create an artificial alternative.

Scientists have created a 'nano-suit' for fruit fly larvae which could eventually spell the end of the human spacesuit
Scientists have created a ‘nano-suit’ for fruit fly  larvae which could eventually spell the end of the human spacesuit
The 'nano-suit' works like a miniature space suit meaning that it could eventually be used by humans if applied using an electron shower. Picture shows Nasa's latest spacesuit design
The ‘nano-suit’ works like a miniature space suit  meaning that it could eventually be used by humans if applied using an electron  shower. Picture shows Nasa’s latest spacesuit design

They submerged mosquito larvae in a bath of  water and Tween 20 – a non-toxic chemical – before covering them in  plasma.

This caused the Tween 20 to create a  nano-suit similar to that created naturally by the fruit fly larvae.

Astrobiologist Lynn Rothschild of Nasa’s Ames  Research Center in Moffett Field, California, told Science that the nano-suits  could allow creatures, or even people, to survive the extreme environments of  space.

The researchers believe that this technique  could eventually be used to allow astronauts to do away with their traditional  spacesuits.

These protect them from the harsh environment  of outer space – the vacuum and the extreme temperatures – by featuring a  self-contained oxygen supply and environmental control system.

Attribution: Emma Innes, Daily Mail

About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).

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