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Wanted: Somebody to Sleep for Science!March 30, 2015
I have just found my dream job! NASA is looking for somebody to spend 70 days in bed! And they are willing to pay close to a quarter of a million rand! Can anybody say best job ever?!
Okay, maybe there is a little more to it than just lying in bed for two odd months. NASA is looking to study the effects of extreme muscular atrophy on people in the build up to its planned space missions to Mars and beyond. With this study NASA is hoping to learn more about how changing one’s physiological effects in space will affect the ability to carry out missions and the effectiveness of missions while suffering from atrophy, as well as what can be done to prevent atrophy in space.
For those who don’t know, muscular atrophy is when muscles shrink and disappear from a lack of use ( think Neo in The Matrix). Due to the relative lack of gravity in space, astronauts suffer from decreasing muscle mass and bone density the longer they are in space. Even though they have rigorous exercise programs, there is just no getting away from it. In order to learn more about the effects of atrophy on astronauts, NASA will be looking for subjects for two similar sets of experiments, one with exercise and one without. Both groups will initially be able to exercise, for 21 and 13 days respectively, and then the subjects will be required to lie in bed for the next 70 days. While they will be able to do whatever they want in bed - read, sleep, watch tv, play games, skype with friends - they will not be allowed to leave it or exercise all. During the experiment all the subjects will be under close scrutiny with regular blood, bone, muscle and a whole battery of other tests.
NASA is hoping that this research will help future astronauts survive planned trips to Mars. These trips could be anything from 100 to 150 days in cramped conditions, so examining the effects of prolonged lack of exercise will be essential for future expansion of the human race.
Now if you'll excuse me, I am going to go practice for this experiment and help with the future of the human race by climbing into bed and not leaving it for the next couple of hours.
If you had to be forced to stay in bed for a long time, what mattress would you choose? A super comfortable Serta Memory Foam? A Restronic Connoisseur Pocket Memory? Or what about a Silent Night Royal Berkdale Adjustable Bed? Tell us what you would sleep on in the comments!
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