Justin Li


Menstruation in Space

2009-02-23

Last week's question: Do animals fear non-immediate, abstract things.

It turns out that this is a tricky question. First, what I called "fear" is not actually fear, but anxiety, which is different. Fear has to have a direct cause and somehow escapable, while anxiety can be indirect and unescapable.

Reading the Wikipedia page for fear says nothing about animals. The proper page to use is Emotion in Animals... which only mentions fear once. It seems to be widely recognized that animals have fear, but it is uncertain from what. It can be argued, though, that animals can be clinically depressed, as the rather inhumane experiment under the canines section shows.

So in that sense, if animals can be influenced by non-immediate events (like the constant reminder of electric shocks... I'm really glad the Animal Welfare Act was passed), then they do feel anxiety.

This week's question: We have had both male and female astronauts staying in space for long periods of time. How does the low gravity environment affects a women's menstruation?

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