Visceral movement of transparent tadpole
get space sickness? Tadpoles cannot increase their abdominal
pressure in order to throw up. So, a team headed by Prof.
Tomio Naito, Shimane University, proposed an experiment
to analyze the physiological condition from a visceral
movement of a tadpole with a transparent abdominal wall.
The experiment became internationally renown.
Looking at the heart, gastrointestinal tract, and respiratory
movements, a pacemaker is installed, and a basic rhythm is
oscillated by the pacemaker to generate periodical movements.
In addition, the cycle of the visceral movement and its strength
respond to the individual physiological state and its demands,
and are adjusted by the integrated command system of the individual.
Tadpoles of the Amami green tree frog have transparent abdominal
walls, so it is easy to observe or capture images of the heart,
gastrointestinal tract, and respiratory movements. By changes
in visceral movement, we can understand the individual physiological
state and the processes of reacting and adapting to the space
environment. The advancement of molecular biology and neurophysiology
is providing various tools to conduct research on visceral
movement and its control mechanisms.
Course of biological sciences in space
Long-term experiments can be conducted
on the International Space Station. So, we can study what
problems arise if we breed living things over several generations
in space, and at what stages and to what phenomena gravity
is related in the life circle of living things from their
early embryogenesis to growth/development, reproduction, and
aging. The fundamental research that studies the effects of
gravity through the life circle of living things and evaluates
the impact of long exposure in space environment on the life
process serves as a basis for humankind to move into space.
The 2002 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded for neutrino and
X-ray astronomy. In chemistry, it was given for the mass spectrometry
of biomacromolecule and analysis by nuclear magnetic resonance. I am honored in part for this award because Dr. John B. Fenn,
one of the Nobel Prize winners, and I co-wrote the first report
on electrospray mass spectrometry. I am now examining
if the awarded analysis method can apply for detecting bio-related
material in extraterrestrial life exploration. The Prize in
physiology or medicine was awarded for apoptosis, which is
founded in the metamorphosis of amphibians. The 2002 Nobel
Prize is indeed associated with space, living things, and