Health

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 […]

DORMANT VIRUSES ACTIVATE DURING SPACEFLIGHT — NASA INVESTIGATES

Herpes viruses reactivate in more than half of crew aboard Space Shuttle and International Space Station missions, according to NASA research published in Frontiers in Microbiology. While only a small proportion develop symptoms, virus reactivation rates increase with spaceflight duration and could present a significant health risk on missions to Mars and beyond. NASA’s rapid […]

THANK EARTH’S MAGNETIC FIELD FOR WATER THAT GIVES YOU LIFE

A study by scientists at Australian National University (ANU) on the magnetic fields of planets has found that most planets discovered in other solar systems are unlikely to be as hospitable to life as Earth. Plants and animals would not survive without water on Earth. The sheer strength of Earth’s magnetic field helps to maintain […]

NORTHWESTERN STUDY OF ANALOG CREWS IN ISOLATION REVEALS WEAK SPOTS FOR MISSION TO MARS

Northwestern University researchers are developing a predictive model to help NASA anticipate conflicts and communication breakdowns among crew members and head off problems that could make or break the Mission to Mars. NASA has formalized plans to send a crewed spacecraft to Mars, a journey that could involve 250 million miles of travel. Among the […]

BRAIN CONDITION RELATED TO LONG-TERM SPACEFLIGHTS NEEDS MORE ATTENTION, DATA

More people today are poised to explore space than ever before; those who do will experience the effects of microgravity on the human body. Recognizing the need for more data related to those effects, Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) neuroradiologist Donna Roberts, M.D., and co-author Lonnie G. Petersen, M.D.,Ph.D., University of California San Diego, […]

PROLONGED SPACEFLIGHT COULD WEAKEN ASTRONAUTS’ IMMUNE SYSTEMS

NASA hopes to send humans to Mars by the 2030s on a round-trip mission that could take up to three years – far longer than any human has ever traveled in space. Such long-term spaceflights could adversely affect certain cells in the immune systems of astronauts, according to a new study led by University of […]

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