Broadcast 3148 Dr. Steven Abood

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Guest: Dr. Seven Abood; Topics: Mars reproduction challenges, mismatch genetics for human spaceflight, genetic engineering, human evolutionary mismatches, human spaceflight mismatches for human factors.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website,  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See  

We welcomed Dr. Steven Abood to the show for a one segment 89 minute discussion regarding his paper, "Biological and social challenges of human reproduction in a long-term Mars base" and the matter of mismatches and this means for humans BLEO.  The paper has been uploaded to TSS blog and I suggest being familiar with it before listening to our program.  The program started off with my question to Dr. Abood asking if there was real time actual and factual data on the topic or if the research and eventual conclusions were based on extrapolations.  As you might have expected, the answer was extrapolation but listen to all of what our guest said about this.  As you will hear, extrapolation includes terrestrial simulations, bedrest studies and other hard scientific research data.  Dr. Abood talked about many of the terrestrial simulations and what happened with them, especially in the area of psychological issues, mental isolation, sometimes violence, and sometimes offensive behavior.  This discussion led to our guest introducing us to the Mismatch Paradigm.

Dr. Abood, in explaining the mismatch paradigm to us, used terrestrial health problems such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease to help us understand what was meant by this paradigm.  If you search for Mismatch Paradigm on the internet, you will find it mentioned in the context of the health conditions previously mentioned.  The mismatch happens in how our genes and body were designed to operate as compared to the environment of today which causes mismatches and the health problems mentioned.  Dr. Abood said that there would likely be even more profound human mismatches going to Mars on mission as well as living on the planet.  We spent a good portion of the first half of the program talking about this so do listen carefully.

Regarding Mars, our guest talked about many of the environmental mismatches that humans would encounter.  This included radiation, microgravity, the reduced amount of sunlight, and more.  With this information, researchers can extrapolate for pregnancy, childbirth and child development issues.  In discussing these mismatches, our guest talked about two ways around the mismatch problem.


            1.  One can take supplements and rely on technology to mitigate the mismatches.

            2.  One can modify human genetics to deal with the mismatches. 

In further discussion, our guest focused in on radiation as an example.  He also said that a settlement would need a minimum of approximately 5,500 residents to be self-sustaining for an earthlike settlement.  Our guest then introduced ideas to address pregnancy challenges and mismatches such as an exowomb (artificial womb) plus he referenced recent experiments in these areas.  Next, the subject of disability ethics came up along infant-mother bonding, needed hormones, and more.  Don't miss all of what our guest had to say on this topic.

Mars mission planning was discussed in some detail.  We talked about potential adaptation, simulations, studies, and trials, plus biosphere issues.  Listeners were asking email questions during our discussion. For example, listener Barbara in Philadelphia suggest taking babies and small kids to space and learn from the a type of on the job research with them.  Steve did not think that would happen but listen to all of what he said in response to Barbara.  Another listener asked about Martian diet and nutrition mismatches.  Our guest had much to say about diet and nutritional mismatches, the role of fat and how all of this has played out and been depicted over human history.  Todd from San Diego then asked if a Martian born teen would ever be able to return to Earth due to the gravitational differences and other possible factor. Once again, don't miss what our guest said about this based on the best information and analysis we have today. 

Wanda took us off in another direction by suggesting we just go to Mars and learn what happens on the way and deal with it.  Steve suggested governments would not go for that given the risk of death or maybe a mutation, especially if public money was involved in the mission.  Listeners then, myself included, suggested no public money be used and a private mission only.  Steve had much to say about this approach but eventually thought the privates would do the right thing and be extra safe.  I talked about possible unwanted impact the industry should something catastrophic happen on such a private mission.  We talked about unwanted and unexpected consequences. 

Near the end of the program, I asked our guest about the term mismatch and if it was widely used in the field and if show, how and in what disciplines.  Our guest then brought up his new book, "Bloated: How we got fat and what you can do about it," which I was interested in given I am on a perpetual diet.  Steve then introduced us to food timing issues as an example of problems and mismatches, especially on the ISS and most likely going to the Moon or Mars.  He cited tablet examples from the ISS and what happens with primate feeding in zoos based on their mismatches from their origins.  The primates become overweight, they get diabetes and worse from living with we humans. 

Listener Mark got in the last question in by email.  He suggested the human race would eventually spread throughout the galaxy including all races, etc.  Our gest responded by talking about human speciation, the Founder Effect, and the Bottleneck Effect.  He said all of this takes a very long time to happen which is something Darwin found out going from island to island. 

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this show. Be sure to read the paper posted on the blog.  You can reach Dr. Abood through me or the address he gave out on air.

Show Files: 




Sex on Mars and reproduction

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09 Jul 2018 Dr. Steven Abood
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