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Space Roaches Develop into Super Mutants

Rochodyssy Maybe it’s time to welcome our new insect overlords. In what sounds like the prequel to the movie Alien, Russian news Agency Novosti, reported on an experiment involving baby cockroaches conceived aboard a satellite in back in September. Apparently, they found, a trip to space gives roaches “superpowers”.

The cockroaches conceived in space onboard the Russian Foton-M bio satellite have developed faster and become hardier than 'terrestrial' ones, a research supervisor confirmed on Thursday.

The research team has been monitoring the cockroaches since they were born in October. The scientists established that their limbs and bodies grew faster.

"What is more, we have found out that the creatures... run faster than ordinary cockroaches, and are much more energetic and resilient," Dmitry Atyakshin said.

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. Average cockroaches are already known for their incredible resilience. Some can last almost an hour without oxygen, or even a month without food. They are also able to withstand high doses of radiation.

The September 14-26 flight was part of an ongoing experiment into the effects of space flight by the Institute of Biomedical Problems (IBMP). The ugly critters were sealed in special containers, and a video camera filmed their weightless mutant space sex during the flight. (Now don’t you wish you had access to that video tape?)

Whether these “super mutant” effects are somehow due to the weightless environment during conception, or to a healthy dose of radiation, or some other factor has not yet been disclosed. Nor did the report reveal whether any of these 33 new super-roaches are planning to take over the planet, or hunt us for sport.

Posted by Rebecca Sato.

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Or it oculd be the fact that instead of "Terrestrial cockroaches" being brought up on naff oxygen supplies mixed with so much of whatever else gasses, up in space these "Mutant" ones have a purer supply of oxygen?

"Pure supply of gas? - One would suspect that they would mix gases to proportions approximately representing earths atmosphere. If this wasn't the case, they could replicate the same experiment in a sealed environment on earth using the same proportion of gas and expect the same results. - So who wants to try to make a pet super roach? =P"

I personally suspect it's a factor of gravity on the Roaches. Bugs do not have a skeleton, they have an exoskeleton. This is one reason why there are not many Giant insects on earth (I remember reading a story about a Giant worm found deep underwater). Larger scale sized bugs have more inertia. Over sized Bugs are more frail. They could potentially crush and damage themselves if they were too big for their own good.

However contrary to this factor of frailty a larger size may have some survival advantages. "Big things eat smaller things"...

I suspect that there might be some genetic factor built into the bug to optimize size vs. inertia during the growth stage of development for those cockroaches.

(Please note: I am not a doctor or biologist, just a Math student.)

Gravity does play a big part in development of roaches and all other known animals right from the point when they are single celled zygote.
As per the size factor in insects, zero gravity can trigger evolution of roaches to bigger sizes with thick chitinous exoskeleton ( tougher ones ) provided they are left on their own for sometime during which the ( bigger stronger roach traits specially the scary ones )can appear from natural or artificially induced mutations.

BOTTOM LINE :Leave the roaches alone in space with some food and they might outdo the Elephants coz out in zero gravity a bigger body size posses no harm to insects.
And remember :If one really plans to do this please choose only the vegetarian ones......

Sometimes i just feel sorry for newspapers becouse they are willing to write all kind a things just to sell more. What superpowers could roach possibly have?

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