Health

UTMB RESEARCHERS LEARNED HOW TO BETTER COMBAT MUSCLE LOSS DURING SPACE FLIGHTS

A new study from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has further documented how muscles are affected by reduced gravity conditions during space flight missions and uncovered how exercise and hormone treatments can be tailored to minimize muscle loss for individual space travelers. The findings are available in PLOS One. NASA has recently […]

FIRST SUCCESSFUL CRISPR/CAS9 GENE EDITING ON INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION

For the first time, astronauts have used CRISPR/Cas9 technology to edit DNA in space. The gene editing technique was deployed on the International Space Station (ISS) to induce targeted breaks in the yeast genome. Molecular changes left behind as yeast repair these breaks will provide clues about how cells repair their DNA in space. This […]

COMET INSPIRES CHEMISTRY FOR MAKING BREATHABLE OXYGEN ON MARS

Science fiction stories are chock full of terraforming schemes and oxygen generators for a very good reason—we humans need molecular oxygen (O2) to breathe, and space is essentially devoid of it. Even on other planets with thick atmospheres, O2 is hard to come by. So, when we explore space, we need to bring our own […]

SPACE TRAVEL AND YOUR JOINTS

A novel Henry Ford Hospital study of mice aboard a Russian spaceflight may raise an intriguing question for the astronauts of tomorrow: Could traveling in space be bad for your joints? Researchers found early signs of cartilage breakdown in the mice, suggesting that the reduced biomechanical forces of spaceflight are at play on the musculoskeletal […]

NEW PLANETARY PROTECTION BOARD TO REVIEW GUIDELINES FOR FUTURE SOLAR SYSTEM AND BEYOND EXPLORATION

Following National Academy of Sciences recommendations, advice from the NASA Advisory Council, and subsequent unanimous agreement from NASA’s science leadership, the agency has established an independent Planetary Protection Review Board to review established guidelines for planetary protection and recommend any updates that are required. Planetary protection policies are designed to protect solar system bodies from […]

STUDYING BEHAVIOR IN SPACE SHOWS MICE ADAPT TO MICROGRAVITY

NASA is preparing to send astronauts on journeys that will include longer stretches in microgravity – to the Moon and onward to Mars. Understanding how basic biology works in space will help astronauts adapt and thrive during long duration missions. To better understand how space affects astronauts, researchers often study other model organisms, like mice, […]

NASA’S LANDMARK TWIN STUDY REVEALS RESILIENCE OF HUMAN BODY IN SPACE

Results from NASA’s landmark Twins Study, which took place from 2015-2016, were published this past week in Science. The integrated paper — encompassing work from 10 research teams — reveals some interesting, surprising and reassuring data about how one human body adapted to — and recovered from — the extreme environment of space. The Twins […]

NASA RESEARCHERS CATALOGUE ALL MICROBES AND FUNGI ON THE ISS

A comprehensive catalogue of the bacteria and fungi found on surfaces inside the International Space Station (ISS) is being presented in a study published in the open access journal Microbiome. Knowledge of the composition of the microbial and fungal communities on the ISS can be used to develop safety measures for NASA for long-term space […]

BACTERIAL FACTORIES COULD MANUFACTURE HIGH-PERFORMANCE PROTEINS FOR SPACE MISSIONS

Nature has evolved protein-based substances with mechanical properties that rival even the best synthetic materials. For example, pound for pound, spider silk is stronger and tougher than steel. But unlike steel, the natural fiber cannot be mass-produced. Today, scientists report a new method that takes advantage of engineered bacteria to produce spider silk and other […]

TESTING THE VALUE OF ARTIFICIAL GRAVITY FOR ASTRONAUT HEALTH

Test subjects in Cologne, Germany will take to their beds for 60 days from 25 March as part of a groundbreaking study, funded by European Space Agency ESA and US space agency NASA, into how artificial gravity could help astronauts stay healthy in space. Carried out at the German Aerospace Center’s (DLR) :envihab facility, the […]

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