Global COE Study Abroad Project

Takashi Ohira(Department of Health and Sport Sciences, Applied Physiology Group)

Date 2011.11.1-8
Purpose To participate in the 32th Annual International Gravitational Physiology Meeting and to make a poster presentation.

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Title: Presentation of poster at The 32nd Annual International Gravitational Physiology Meeting.

Name: Takashi Ohira

Name of laboratory: Section of Applied Physiology, Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences

Destination: Saint Claire Hotel, San Jose, California, U.S.A.


I attended the 32nd Annual International Gravitational Physiology Meeting and presented a poster entitled "Roles of skeletal muscles and/or fins during gravity- and/or light-dependent body tilting in carp fishes".  In this presentation, I tried to define the mechanism responsible for body tilting in carp fish.  Exposure to microgravity, which was created by the parabolic flight of a jet airplane (Gulfstream-II, Diamond Air Service, Japan), and/or labirynthectomy were employed to remove vestibular input and induce the postural changes due to the dorsal light response.  I measured electromyograms (EMG) of the flexor and levator muscles responsible for the movement of pectoral fins and the middle portion of the lateral red muscle.  And results suggested that tail fin may play the major role for tilting, since EMG activity of the right lateral muscle was increased during body tilting toward right in response to change of the direction of light from the top to the right.  It was further suggested that pectoral fins may play an auxiliary role for maintenance of posture.  Many scientists were interested in my poster and gave me a lot of questions and advice.  And of course I could learn about the newest researches through other presentations.  But I keenly felt breadth of research project about space biology.  There were molecular biologists, physiologists, medical doctors, engineers, and so on.  Although the opportunities of space-utilizing experiment are hard to obtain and budget is cut, I think it is very important to continue the research in this field.

On the first day, I participated in NASA Ames Research Center tour and visited some life science laboratories and saw experimental devices, such as a huge human centrifuge and payload systems.  It was a good experience for me.  And also I learned about the NASA's policy of space development in the future.  NASA is engaged in wide range of researches, which relate to human space flight etc.  And I was very stimulated by high motivation of NASA. 

In addition, I attended the student association meeting and student mixer.  There were many excellent students with similar kinds of troubles, such as anxiety of obtaining a job.  I was encouraged and inspired.  I want to keep the communication with them internationally from now on.

Finally, I believe that the knowledge, which I obtained through this trip, will be useful for me.  I would like to continue the researches in neuromuscular physiology and contribute to development of space biology.  I deeply appreciate the COE financial support for the trip.

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