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View Full Version : Spiders Adapt to Space, Weaving a Near-Perfect Web



Fraser
2008-Nov-22, 09:00 PM
The educational experiment currently being carried out on the space station has just returned a surprise result. It would appear the two web-weaving spiders being studied have turned their fortunes around - they have scrapped their aimless 3D mess of silk and started to create the symmetrical 2D webs more commonly seen on Earth. The [...]

More... (http://www.universetoday.com/2008/11/22/spiders-adapt-to-space-weaving-a-near-perfect-web/)

PraedSt
2008-Nov-22, 09:38 PM
This is either the most uplifting news I've read this week, or the most depressing...

John Jaksich
2008-Nov-22, 09:46 PM
I guess that it is not as surprising as one might (try?) to imagine...arachnids have 8 legs and multiple eyes...(speculation) maybe they are better able to adapt using a (?) evolutionary-type (?) of path of least resistance... again I definitely speculate?


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someone should possibly clue me in as to what poor eyesight and and multiple eyes have anything to do for adapting to low (-or no) gravity environments...

JustAFriend
2008-Nov-23, 12:23 PM
Big question: Why are we doing the same experiments over and over again?

They did this in Skylab back in the late '70s.....

PraedSt
2008-Nov-23, 01:35 PM
Big question: Why are we doing the same experiments over and over again?

They did this in Skylab back in the late '70s.....
This one's for the children (http://www.universetoday.com/2008/11/11/studying-the-life-cycle-of-butterflies-and-spiders-in-space/). ;)

matthewota
2008-Dec-01, 04:25 AM
Big question: Why are we doing the same experiments over and over again?

They did this in Skylab back in the late '70s.....


Yes, but NASA basically ignored the lessons from Skylab when they built the ISS.

Hell ,I even remember the name of the spider...Arabella. And Skylab was occupied from 1973 to 1974, not the late 70s.

Rex84
2008-Dec-01, 11:32 AM
Yes, but NASA basically ignored the lessons from Skylab when they built the ISS.

Hell ,I even remember the name of the spider...Arabella. And Skylab was occupied from 1973 to 1974, not the late 70s.

NASA is good at ignoring lessons and it operates fairly as any other government bureaucracy that is strife with poor budgeting issues and a terrible public relations challenge. It may also be suffering from brain drain in a post-911 environment which demands more in-depth screening of immigrant work visas. I am always sitting in my chair ready to hear a news bullentin about a spy or spy network found working in NASA for 40 years or more.:shifty:

chrisss77
2008-Dec-01, 01:50 PM
am i right in thinking that a persons bones become bendy if they stay in space long enough??
how would the spiders exoskeletons react in the same circumstances?

PraedSt
2008-Dec-01, 02:50 PM
am i right in thinking that a persons bones become bendy if they stay in space long enough??
how would the spiders exoskeletons react in the same circumstances?
Human bones become weak due to falling bone density (http://www.radiologytoday.net/archive/rt_080204p10.shtml). We continually replace the bone that we have- in space this process slows down.
Exoskeletons, on the other hand, remain fixed once they're complete- no remodelling takes place, and so weightlessness won't effect the current skin.

This is where my knowledge runs out. :)

Spiders have to moult, so maybe weightlessness will effect the next generation of skin? I don't know to be honest. You'll have to wait for some better answers, or do some googling!

p.s. Welcome to BAUT!

toothdust
2008-Dec-01, 04:49 PM
Exoskeletons, on the other hand, remain fixed once they're complete- no remodelling takes place, and so weightlessness won't effect the current skin.



Guess this gives some precedence to the MIB style space bugs...:shifty:

PraedSt
2008-Dec-01, 04:58 PM
Guess this gives some precedence to the MIB style space bugs...:shifty:
Funny you should say that. :D

Space Roaches Develop into Super Mutants (http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2008/01/space-roaches-d.html)!!!!

(This is a mirrored link from here (http://www.bautforum.com/questions-answers/81839-mr-bigelows-bugs.html).)

chrisss77
2008-Dec-01, 07:31 PM
thanks for the welcome PraedSt.

i had a look around on google but all the info i could find was about the web building skills and differences between webs in space and on earth.

i also had a look at the site you posted too about the super mutant space roaches,maybe they could run faster due to saving weight by having less of an exoskeleton with each new generation of skin??

PraedSt
2008-Dec-01, 08:03 PM
thanks for the welcome PraedSt.

i had a look around on google but all the info i could find was about the web building skills and differences between webs in space and on earth.

i also had a look at the site you posted too about the super mutant space roaches,maybe they could run faster due to saving weight by having less of an exoskeleton with each new generation of skin??
I had a look too. Came up empty. I'm guessing no-one's studied it in depth yet? As for the roaches, I hope not! :)
Luckily for us, it says the super-power effect disappears by the next generation:
Cockroaches, as well as other types of insects, can give birth several times after one impregnation, and the cockroaches that conceived during the bio-satellite's September 14-26 flight have since given birth to their second and third batches of offspring.

"The second and third batches did not show these peculiarities of growth and physiology," the scientist noted.

That’s good news, since we wouldn’t want any of the mutants to somehow escape the lab and create a new population of hard to kill cockroaches.But they don't yet know what causes it... :shifty: