August 8, 1966

Investigators Examine Effects Of Acceleration

JAMA. 1966;197(6):40-41. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110060020007

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"A bout 12 months out on your way around Mars," remarked physiologist Arthur H. Smith, PhD, leaning back in the little office, "is the wrong time to find out that there is an effect of accelerative forces on biological function."

Centrifuges Used  To learn more about prolonged hypergravity exposure, Dr. Smith and colleagues are whirling chickens around, sometimes for months at a time, in a centrifuge at the Chronic Acceleration Research Laboratory on the University of California campus near Davis. Data to date indicate:

  • Increase in relative skeletal size, but with the non-loadbearing humerus, for example, showing as large an increase as the loadbearing femur;

  • Antigravity muscles hypertro-

phying as much as five to seven times normal, but no change in paired antagonist muscles;
  • Repression of growth at 3 G (three times the gravitational pull of the earth), these chickens having perhaps 40% less body mass in