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Sex in space may be dangerous, study says

Human reproduction would not respond well to changes in gravity, according to work performed by a biologist at the University of Montreal.

Grave consequences of sex without gravity.
DNewsChannel/YouTube; screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I've always imagined that being up in space isn't really so much fun.

Yes, the views are nice, but the claustrophobia must be entirely stifling. What are you supposed to do up there, for days on end? You can't just work all the time.

The temptation, then, might be to occasionally enjoy a little recreation in the procreative sphere.

Sex would surely offer a touch of vigorous exercise and a little human community.

However, now research has emerged suggesting that sex up there could be dangerous.

My regular reading of Medical Daily spawned the information that a research team led by biologist Dr. Anja Geitmann of Montreal University, performed a study in which they considered whether conception in space was a good conception.

Sadly, it appears it may not be.

The changes in gravity make cell growth erratic and unstable. Yes, the team was only studying plant cells. But these operate on a system similar to the human, in so far as the process involves male to female sperm-cell (pollen) transfer.

Geitmann admitted that scientific thinking hasn't yet gone all the way to determining precisely what might happen in intergalactic conception.

She told the Daily Mail: "Intracellular transport processes are particularly sensitive to disturbance, with dramatic consequences for cell functioning. How these processes are affected by a change in gravity is poorly understood."

Equally importantly, she said: "Researchers already knew humans, animals, and plants have evolved in response to Earth's gravity and they are able to sense it."

The team's work, published in PLOS One, offers a pessimistic view of space's reproductive capabilities.

Geitmann's fellow researcher, Dr. Youssef Chebli, told the Mail: "Our findings have implications for human health as similar effects are likely to occur in human cells such as neurons where long-distance intracellular transport is crucial."

The fear is that disruption in cell growth caused by gravity shifts might lead to diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's.

NASA doesn't actually forbid sex in space, though married couples are not allowed to go on the same mission.

And retired porn star Coco Brown is, allegedly, in training to become the first porn star to perform in space.

However, it seems that those who will choose, in the future, to have sex in the beyond will have to take similar precautions to those who have no interest in creating even more babies than exist already down here.