Poster Title

The Effects of Low Atmospheric Pressure on Blood Chemistry and Cell Structure

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Freshmen

Institution

Kentucky Community and Technical College System

KY House District #

4

KY Senate District #

3

Department

Dept. of Biology

Abstract

Sarah Bell

NASA KY, HCC

The Effects of Low Atmospheric Pressure on Blood Chemistry and Cell Structure

The purpose of this research experiment is to study the effects that a large change in atmospheric pressure has on blood chemistry and cell structure. In this experiment, canine blood is being sent to near-space on a helium filled balloon for approximately two hours, and then parachuted back to the ground when the balloon bursts at an approximate altitude of 100,000ft. The blood will be kept from freezing to eliminate any effects of hemolysis (the bursting of blood cells) from this cause, as the lowest temperature reached is below -50oC. Two tubes of blood will be sent to near-space and two will be kept on the ground as controls. One of the tubes sent to near-space and one of the controls are for studying the changes in the blood’s cell structure and are in vacuumed sealed tubes containing an anticoagulant. The other two tubes are for studying the changes in the blood’s chemistry and are in vacuumed sealed tubes containing a different anticoagulant that is more suited for studying the blood’s chemistry. The blood will be analyzed at a professional laboratory for any changes or abnormalities. No changes are anticipated in the blood’s chemistry, but there may be shrinkage or rupture of the blood’s cell structure due to low atmospheric pressure.

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The Effects of Low Atmospheric Pressure on Blood Chemistry and Cell Structure

Sarah Bell

NASA KY, HCC

The Effects of Low Atmospheric Pressure on Blood Chemistry and Cell Structure

The purpose of this research experiment is to study the effects that a large change in atmospheric pressure has on blood chemistry and cell structure. In this experiment, canine blood is being sent to near-space on a helium filled balloon for approximately two hours, and then parachuted back to the ground when the balloon bursts at an approximate altitude of 100,000ft. The blood will be kept from freezing to eliminate any effects of hemolysis (the bursting of blood cells) from this cause, as the lowest temperature reached is below -50oC. Two tubes of blood will be sent to near-space and two will be kept on the ground as controls. One of the tubes sent to near-space and one of the controls are for studying the changes in the blood’s cell structure and are in vacuumed sealed tubes containing an anticoagulant. The other two tubes are for studying the changes in the blood’s chemistry and are in vacuumed sealed tubes containing a different anticoagulant that is more suited for studying the blood’s chemistry. The blood will be analyzed at a professional laboratory for any changes or abnormalities. No changes are anticipated in the blood’s chemistry, but there may be shrinkage or rupture of the blood’s cell structure due to low atmospheric pressure.