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Cyborgs and Space (Clynes & Kline)

Cyborgs and Space (Clynes & Kline)



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Published by: telecult on May 14, 2008
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Cyborgs and Space
L1.2Altering man's bodily functions to meet the requirements of extraterrestrialenvironments would be more logical than providing an earthly environment for him inspace
Artifact-organism systems which would extend man's unconscious,self-regulatory controls are one possibility
 By Manfred E. Clynes and Nathan S. Kline
Manfred E. CIynes has since1956 been chief researchscientist at Rockland State, incharge of the DynamicSimulation Lab. A graduate of the Un iv. of Melbourne,Australia, and bolder of an M.S.from Juilliard School, he has forthe past 10 years been engagedin the design and developmentof physiological instrumentationand apparatus, ultrasonictransducers, and electronicdata-processing systems.Nathan S. Kline has beendirector of research at RocklandState since 1952 and an assistantprofessor of clinical psychiatryat the Columbia Univ. Collegeof Physicians and Surgeonssince 1957. Author of more than100 papers, Dr. Kline holds aNew York Newspaper GuildPage One Award in science, theAdolph Meyer Award of theAssn. for Improvement of Mental Health, and the AlbertLasker Award of the AmericanPublic Health Association.
This article is based on a paper presented under the title of "Drugs, Spaceand Cybernetics "at the Psych ophysiologica I Aspects of Space Flight Symposium sponsored by the AF School of Aviation Medicine in San Antonio,
in May. The complete paper appeared in the Symposium proceedings, published by Columbia Univ. Press.
SPACE travel challenges mankind not only technologically but alsospiritually, in that it invites man to take an active part in his own biologicalevolution. Scientific advances of the future may thus be utilized to permitman's existence in environments which differ radically from thoseprovided by nature as we know it.The task of adapting man's body to any environment he maychoose will be made easier by increased knowledge of homeostaticfunctioning, the cybernetic aspects of which are just beginning to beunderstood and investigated. In the past evolution brought about thealtering of bodily functions to suit different environments. Starting as of now, it will be possible to achieve this to some degree
without alteration
by suitable biochemical, physiological, and electronicmodifications of man's existing modus vivendi.Homeostatic mechanisms found in organisms are designed toprovide stable operation in the particular environment of the organism.Examples of three successful alternate solutions provided by biologicalmechanisms to the body-environment problem with regard to operatingtemperature are man, hibernating animals, and poikilothermic fish(organisms with blood that take on the temperature of the environment).Various biological solutions have also been developed foranother problem-respiration. Mammals, fish, insects, and plants each havea different solution with inherent limitations but eminently suitable
 for their field 
Should an organism desire to live outside thisfield, an apparently "insurmountable" problem exists.However, is the problem really insurmountable? If a fish wishedto live on land, it could not readily do so. If, however, a particularlyintelligent and resourceful fish could be found, who had studied a gooddeal of biochemistry and physiology, was a master engineer andcyberneticist, and had excellent lab facilities available to him, this fishcouldRepritiled fro m ASTRONAUTICS, Scptember, 1960)
One of the first Cyborgs, this 220-gm rathas under its skin the Rose osmotic pump (shownin close-up below), designed to permit continuousinjections of chemicals at a slow controlled rateinto an organism withOUt any attention on thepart of the organism.
conceivably have the ability to design an instrumentwhich would allow him to live on land and breatheair quite readily.In the same manner, it is becoming apparentthat we will in the not too distant future havesufficient knowledge to design instrumental control-systems which will make it Possible for our bodiesto do things which are no less difficult.The environment with which man is nowconcerned is that of space. Biologically, what are thechanges necessary to allow man to live adequately inthe space environment? Artificial atmospheresencapsulated in some sort of enclosure constituteonly temporizing, and dangerous temporizing at that,since we place ourselves in the same Position as afish
taking a small quantity of water along with him tolive on land. The bubble all too easily bursts.The biological problems which exist inspace travel are many and varied. Long-term spacevoyages, involving flights not of days, months oryears, but Possibly of several thousand years, willeventually be hard realities, and resultantphysiological and psychological conditions must beconsidered.These are reviewed below. In some cases,we have proposed solutions which probably could bedevised with presently available knowledge andtechniques. Other Solutions are projections into thefuture which by their very nature must resemblescience fiction. To illustrate, there may be much moreefficient ways of carrying out the functions of therespiratory system than by breathing, which becomescumbersome in space. One proposed solution for thenot too distant future is relatively simple: Don'tbreathe!If man attempts partial adaptation to spaceconditions, instead of insisting on carrying his wholeenvironment along with him, a number of newpossibilities appear. One is then led to think about theincorporation of integral exogenous devices to bringabout the biological changes which might benecessary in man's homeostatic mechanisms to allowhim to live in space
qua natura.
The autonomic nervous system andendocrine glands cooperate in man to maintain themultiple balances required for his existence. They dothis without conscious control, although they areamenable to such influence. Necessary readjustmentsof these automatic responses under extraterrestrialconditions require the aid of control theory, as well asextensive physiological knowledge.
Cyborg-Frees Man to Explore
What are some of the devices necessary forcreating self-regulating manmachine systems? Thisself-regulation must function without the benefit of consciousness in order to cooperate with the body'sown autonomous homeostatic controls. For theexogenously extended organizational
complex functioning as an inte-grated homeostatic system un-consciously, we propose the term"Cyborg." The Cyborg deliberatelyincorporates exoge-nous componentsextending the self-regulatory controlfunction of the organism in order toadapt it to new environments.If man in space, in addition toflying his vehicle, must con-tinuouslybe checking on things and makingadjustments merely in order to keephimself alive, he becomes a slave tothe ma-chine. The purpose of the Cy-borg, as well as his own ho-meostaticsystems, is to provi-de anorganizational sys-tem in which suchrobot-like problems are taken care of automatically and unconsciously,leaving man free to explore, tocreate, to think, and to feel.One device helpful to con-sideration of the construction of Cyborgs, which is already a-vailable,is the ingenious osmo-tic pressurepump capsule de-veloped by S. Rosefor conti-nuous slow injections of bio-chemically active substances at abiological rate. The capsule isincorporated into the organism andallows administration of a selecteddrug at a particular or-gan and at acontinuous vari-able rate, withoutany attention on the part of theorganism.Capsules are already avail-ablewhich will deliver as little as 0.01ml/day for 200 days, and there is noreason why this time could not beextended con-siderably. Theapparatus has al-ready been used onrabbits and rats, and for continuoushepa-rin injection in man. No un-toward general effect on health wasnoted when the injector was buried inanimals. As long as five
years ago,an injector 7 cm long and 1.4 cm indiame-ter, weighing 15 gm, was suc-cessfully buried under the skin of ratsweighing 150-250 gin. The photo
Page 27 shows a rat weighing 220gm with an injector
in situ.
The combination of an osmoticpressure pump capsule with sensingand controlling mechanisms can forma con-tinuous control loop which willact as an adjunct to the body's ownautonomous controls. In this manner,these controls can be changed to thedesired per-formance characteristicsunder various environmental condi-tions. If these characteristics weredetermined, such a sys-tem would bepossible today with the selection of appro-priate drugs.For example, systolic bloodpressure may be sensed, com-paredto a reference value based on thespace conditions en-countered, andregulated by letting the differencebetween sensed and referencepressures control administration of an adrenergic or vasodilator drug. Of course, any such system presupposesthat we would be cognizant of whatoptimum blood pressure would beunder various space conditions.While it is quite difficult to setup per limits to "natural" humanphysiological and psy-chologicalperformance, we can take as minimalthe capabilities demonstrated undercontrol conditions such as yoga orhypnosis. The imagination isstretched by the muscular con-trol of which even the under-graduate at aYoga College is capable, andhypnosis per se may prove to have adefinite place in space travel,although there is much to be learnedabout the phenomena of dis-sociation, generalization of ins-tructions, and abdication of executivecontrol.We are now working on a newpreparation which may greatlyenhance hypnotizability, so thatpharmacological and hypnoticapproaches may be symbioticallycombined.
Let us now turn our attention tosome of the special physiological andpsychologi-cal problems involved inspace travel, and see how Cyborg dy-namics may help achieve betterunderstanding and utilization of man's natural abilities.
For flights of relatively short or moderate du-ration-a few weeks or even a fewmonths-it would appear desirable tokeep the astronaut continuouslyawake and fully alert. The extensionof normal functioning through theuse of that group of drugs known aspsychic energizers, with ad-junctivemedication, for this purpose is apresent-day real-ity. In flights lastinga month or two, no more than a fewhours a day of sleep would be requir-ed in the normal environment if suchdrugs were employed. Tests indicateefficiency tends to increase, ratherthan decrea-se, under such a regime,and extended usage appears entirelyfeasible.
 Radiation Effects.
One sub-system of the Cyborg would involvea sensor to detect radia-tion levelsand an adaptation of the Roseosmotic pump which wouldautomatically inject pro-tectivepharmaceuticals in ap-propriatedoses. Experiments at the AF Schoolof Aviation Me-dicine alreadyindicate an in-crease in radiationresistance re-sulting from combinedadmi-nistration of aminoethylisothio-roninm and cysteine to mon-keys.
Metabolic Problems and Hy- pothermic Controls.
In the case of prolonged space flight, the estimatedconsumption of 10 lb a day forhuman fuel-2 lb of oxygen, 4 lb of fluid, and 4 lb of food-poses a majorpro-blem. During a flight of a year orlonger, assuming that the ve-hiclewas operating satisfactori-ly, therewould be little or no rea

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