21 February 2008
News - Habitat (None)
Fishy Experiment in Spacesickness
(No fish harmed in the making of this experiment)
by Carol Pinchefsky
by Carol Pinchefsky

According to a msnbc.com article, 72 fish participated in a German spacesickness study today. The fish were monitored to see if they swam in circles, their telltale sign of motion sickness.

The article said, "[team leader Professor Reinhard Hilbig] said the scientists hope the experiment can help shed light on why some people experience motion sickness while others do not because the mechanisms involved are similar for both fish and humans."

Three quarters of all astronauts experience space sickness, which includes nausea, dizziness, and vomiting. In fact, parabolic flights that simulate weightlessness are so stomach-turning, they're nicknamed "vomit comets" -- even in flights of 30-second bursts.

With more people paying to visit space, the need to create a comfortable atmosphere is as important as ever.

The data is currently being studied; results will follow when they are released.

The fish could not be reached for comment.
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Carol Pinchefsky 21 February 2008
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