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Thread: Stem cells back from outer space may solve mysterious illnesses of astronauts

  1. #1

    Stem cells back from outer space may solve mysterious illnesses of astronauts

    Stem cells back from outer space may solve mysterious illnesses of astronauts
    By Olga Kuchment


    okuchment@mercurynews.com

    Posted: 04/19/2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
    Updated: 04/19/2010 05:25:22 AM PDT


    A sneeze knocks an astronaut into a wall, leaving droplets of saliva spinning in midair.

    This is the flu in microgravity.

    Astronauts tend to get sick — 15 of the 29 astronauts who flew on Apollo missions in the 1960s and '70s came down with infections during flight or immediately after — and Millie Hughes-Fulford has been on a mission to find out why. The UC San Francisco molecular biologist and former astronaut anxiously awaits the imminent return of 16 mice from a two-week stay aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery, as part of an experiment she designed to study how their immune cells handle spaceflight. The scheduled landing: 8:48 a.m. today at Florida's Kennedy Space Center.

    Also, NASA/Ames researcher Eduardo Almeida sent millions of mouse stem cells on the same shuttle flight, hoping to find clues about a constellation of space-traveler maladies: weakened bones and muscles, and compromised immune systems.

    Both projects aim to help humans survive years-long journeys to Mars and beyond. The work might also have implications for health problems on Earth.

    The astronauts' maladies are similar to muscular-skeletal diseases in paralyzed or comatose patients on Earth, Almeida said, and to the weakening of the immune system with aging, according to Hughes-Fulford. She has seen young astronauts come down with shingles, which commonly occur in people past the age of 60.

    more...

    http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_1...nclick_check=1

  2. #2
    Senior Member lunasicc42's Avatar
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    I wonder how much government money is for these "important " things
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  3. #3
    You really don't see the huge potential that studying the problems astronauts encounter with lost bone density and muscle mass has for the SCI/D, aging, and post-menopausal populations, plus people who must bedridden for long periods of time?

    Such short-sightedness.
    It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.

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  4. #4
    Senior Member ian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thehipcrip View Post
    You really don't see the huge potential that studying the problems astronauts encounter with lost bone density and muscle mass has for the SCI/D, aging, and post-menopausal populations, plus people who must bedridden for long periods of time?

    Such short-sightedness.
    Theres plenty of people on earth with these problems willing and waiting to be studied.

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