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human spaceflight

William R Carpentier, John B Charles, Mark Shelhamer, Amanda S Hackler, Tracy L Johnson, Catherine M M Domingo, Jeffrey P Sutton, Graham B I Scott, Virginia E Wotring
The United States first sent humans into space during six flights of Project Mercury from May 1961 to May 1963. These flights were brief, with durations ranging from about 15 min to just over 34 h. A primary purpose of the project was to determine if humans could perform meaningful tasks while in space. This was supported by a series of biomedical measurements on each astronaut before, during (when feasible), and after flight to document the effects of exposure to the spaceflight environment. While almost all of the data presented here have been published in technical reports, this is the first integrated summary of the main results...
2018: NPJ Microgravity
Laurence Vico, Alan Hargens
Space sojourns are challenging for life. The ability of the human body to adapt to these extreme conditions has been noted since the beginning of human space travel. Skeletal alterations that occur during spaceflight are now better understood owing to tools such as dual-energy X-ray densitometry and high-resolution peripheral quantitative CT, and murine models help researchers to understand cellular and matrix changes that occur in bone and that are difficult to measure in humans. However, questions remain with regard to bone adaptation and osteocyte fate, as well as to interactions of the skeleton with fluid shifts towards the head and with the vascular system...
March 21, 2018: Nature Reviews. Rheumatology
Cui Zhang, Liang Li, Yuanda Jiang, Cuicui Wang, Baoming Geng, Yanqiu Wang, Jianling Chen, Fei Liu, Peng Qiu, Guangjie Zhai, Ping Chen, Renfu Quan, Jinfu Wang
Bone formation is linked with osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in the bone marrow. Microgravity in spaceflight is known to reduce bone formation. In this study, we used a real microgravity environment of the SJ-10 Recoverable Scientific Satellite to examine the effects of space microgravity on the osteogenic differentiation of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). hMSCs were induced toward osteogenic differentiation for 2 and 7 d in a cell culture device mounted on the SJ-10 Satellite...
March 13, 2018: FASEB Journal: Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Matthieu Komorowski, Sarah Fleming, Mala Mawkin, Jochen Hinkelbein
Future space exploration missions will take humans far beyond low Earth orbit and require complete crew autonomy. The ability to provide anaesthesia will be important given the expected risk of severe medical events requiring surgery. Knowledge and experience of such procedures during space missions is currently extremely limited. Austere and isolated environments (such as polar bases or submarines) have been used extensively as test beds for spaceflight to probe hazards, train crews, develop clinical protocols and countermeasures for prospective space missions...
2018: NPJ Microgravity
Patricia Fajardo-Cavazos, Joshua D Leehan, Wayne L Nicholson
The effect of Bacillus subtilis exposure to the human spaceflight environment on growth, mutagenic frequency, and spectrum of mutations to rifampicin resistance (RifR ) was investigated. B. subtilis cells were cultivated in Biological Research in Canister-Petri Dish Fixation Units (BRIC-PDFUs) on two separate missions to the International Space Station (ISS), dubbed BRIC-18 and BRIC-21, with matching asynchronous ground controls. No statistically significant difference in either growth or in the frequency of mutation to RifR was found in either experiment...
2018: Frontiers in Microbiology
Peng Yuan, Vincent Koppelmans, Patricia Reuter-Lorenz, Yiri De Dios, Nichole Gadd, Roy Riascos, Igor Kofman, Jacob Bloomberg, Ajitkumar Mulavara, Rachael D Seidler
Head-down tilt bed rest (HDBR) has been used as a spaceflight analog to study some of the effects of microgravity on human physiology, cognition, and sensorimotor functions. Previous studies have reported declines in balance control and functional mobility after spaceflight and HDBR. Here we investigated how the brain activation for foot movement changed with HDBR. Eighteen healthy men participated in the current HDBR study. They were in a 6{degree sign} head-down tilt position continuously for 70 days. Functional MRI scans were acquired to estimate brain activation for foot movement pre-, during- and post-HDBR...
February 28, 2018: Journal of Neurophysiology
Tobias Niederwieser, Patrick Kociolek, David Klaus
An Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) is necessary for humans to survive in the hostile environment of space. As future missions move beyond Earth orbit for extended durations, reclaiming human metabolic waste streams for recycled use becomes increasingly important. Historically, these functions have been accomplished using a variety of physical and chemical processes with limited recycling capabilities. In contrast, biological systems can also be incorporated into a spacecraft to essentially mimic the balance of photosynthesis and respiration that occurs in Earth's ecosystem, along with increasing the reuse of biomass throughout the food chain...
February 2018: Life Sciences in Space Research
E A Radugina, E A C Almeida, E Blaber, V A Poplinskaya, Y V Markitantova, E N Grigoryan
Mechanical unloading in microgravity during spaceflight is known to cause muscular atrophy, changes in muscle fiber composition, gene expression, and reduction in regenerative muscle growth. Although some limited data exists for long-term effects of microgravity in human muscle, these processes have mostly been studied in rodents for short periods of time. Here we report on how long-term (30-day long) mechanical unloading in microgravity affects murine muscles of the femoral Quadriceps group. To conduct these studies we used muscle tissue from 6 microgravity mice, in comparison to habitat (7), and vivarium (14) ground control mice from the NASA Biospecimen Sharing Program conducted in collaboration with the Institute for Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences, during the Russian Bion M1 biosatellite mission in 2013...
February 2018: Life Sciences in Space Research
Yuri Griko, Matthew D Regan
Animal research aboard the Space Shuttle and International Space Station has provided vital information on the physiological, cellular, and molecular effects of spaceflight. The relevance of this information to human spaceflight is enhanced when it is coupled with information gleaned from human-based research. As NASA and other space agencies initiate plans for human exploration missions beyond low Earth orbit (LEO), incorporating animal research into these missions is vitally important to understanding the biological impacts of deep space...
February 2018: Life Sciences in Space Research
Guofu Shen, Schuyler Link, Sandeep Kumar, Derek M Nusbaum, Dennis Y Tse, Yingbin Fu, Samuel M Wu, Benjamin J Frankfort
Elevated intracranial pressure (ICP) can result in multiple neurologic sequelae including vision loss. Inducible models of ICP elevation are lacking in model organisms, which limits our understanding of the mechanism by which increased ICP impacts the visual system. We adapted a mouse model for the sustained elevation of ICP and tested the hypothesis that elevated ICP impacts the optic nerve and retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). ICP was elevated and maintained for 2 weeks, and resulted in multiple anatomic changes that are consistent with human disease including papilledema, loss of physiologic cupping, and engorgement of the optic nerve head...
February 12, 2018: Scientific Reports
Cheng-Fei Li, Jia-Xing Sun, Yuan Gao, Fei Shi, Yi-Kai Pan, Yong-Chun Wang, Xi-Qing Sun
Individuals exposed to long-term spaceflight often experience cardiovascular dysfunctions characterized by orthostatic intolerance, disability on physical exercise, and even frank syncope. Recent studies have showed that the alterations of cardiovascular system are closely related to the functional changes of endothelial cells. We have shown previously that autophagy can be induced by simulated microgravity in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). However, the mechanism of enhanced autophagy induced by simulated microgravity and its role in the regulation of endothelial function still remain unclear...
February 2, 2018: Cell Death & Disease
Nabarun Chakraborty, Amrita Cheema, Aarti Gautam, Duncan Donohue, Allison Hoke, Carolynn Conley, Marti Jett, Rasha Hammamieh
Spaceflight presents a spectrum of stresses very different from those associated with terrestrial conditions. Our previous study (BMC Genom. 15: 659, 2014) integrated the expressions of mRNAs, microRNAs, and proteins and results indicated that microgravity induces an immunosuppressive state that can facilitate opportunistic pathogenic attack. However, the existing data are not sufficient for elucidating the molecular drivers of the given immunosuppressed state. To meet this knowledge gap, we focused on the metabolite profile of spaceflown human cells...
2018: NPJ Microgravity
Dan Xu, Ying Gao, Lin Guo, Chenggang Lin, Yeqing Sun
INTRODUCTION: Dystrophin-like dys-1 gene expression increases in the body-wall muscles of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) after spaceflight. Here, we utilized a dys-1(cx18) mutant to analyze the molecular adaptive responses of C. elegans to spaceflight. METHODS: DNA microarrays were performed to identify differentially expressed genes between wild-type and dys-1 mutant worms after spaceflight. We performed Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway analyses, predicted human diseases and screened out key genes for human muscle diseases with NextBio...
January 18, 2018: Muscle & Nerve
Jonathan Baio, Aida F Martinez, Leonard Bailey, Nahidh Hasaniya, Michael J Pecaut, Mary Kearns-Jonker
Spaceflight impacts cardiovascular function in astronauts; however, its impact on cardiac development and the stem cells that form the basis for cardiac repair is unknown. Accordingly, further research is needed to uncover the potential relevance of such changes to human health. Using simulated microgravity (SMG) generated by two-dimensional clinorotation and culture aboard the International Space Station (ISS), we assessed the effects of mechanical unloading on human neonatal cardiovascular progenitor cell (CPC) developmental properties and signaling...
February 12, 2018: Stem Cells and Development
Jeffery C Chancellor, Serena M Auñon-Chancellor, John Charles
INTRODUCTION: Space radiation research has progressed rapidly in recent years, but there remain large uncertainties in predicting and extrapolating biological responses to humans. Exposure to cosmic radiation and solar particle events (SPEs) may pose a critical health risk to future spaceflight crews and can have a serious impact on all biomedical aspects of space exploration. The relatively minimal shielding of the cancelled 1960s Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) program's space vehicle and the high inclination polar orbits would have left the crew susceptible to high exposures of cosmic radiation and high dose-rate SPEs that are mostly unpredictable in frequency and intensity...
January 1, 2018: Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance
Norman J Kleiman, Fiona A Stewart, Eric J Hall
World events, including the threat of radiological terrorism and the fear of nuclear accidents, have highlighted an urgent need to develop medical countermeasures to prevent or reduce radiation injury. Similarly, plans for manned spaceflight to a near-Earth asteroid or journey to Mars raise serious concerns about long-term effects of space radiation on human health and the availability of suitable therapeutic interventions. At the same time, the need to protect normal tissue from the deleterious effects of radiotherapy has driven considerable research into the design of effective radioprotectors...
November 2017: Life Sciences in Space Research
A C Matin, J-H Wang, Mimi Keyhan, Rachna Singh, Michael Benoit, Macarena P Parra, Michael R Padgen, Antonio J Ricco, Matthew Chin, Charlie R Friedericks, Tori N Chinn, Aaron Cohen, Michael B Henschke, Timothy V Snyder, Matthew P Lera, Shannon S Ross, Christina M Mayberry, Sungshin Choi, Diana T Wu, Ming X Tan, Travis D Boone, Christopher C Beasley, Matthew E Piccini, Stevan M Spremo
Human immune response is compromised and bacteria can become more antibiotic resistant in space microgravity (MG). We report that under low-shear modeled microgravity (LSMMG), stationary-phase uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) become more resistant to gentamicin (Gm), and that this increase is dependent on the presence of σs (a transcription regulator encoded by the rpoS gene). UPEC causes urinary tract infections (UTIs), reported to afflict astronauts; Gm is a standard treatment, so these findings could impact astronaut health...
November 2017: Life Sciences in Space Research
F Gregory Murphy, Ashleigh J Swingler, Wayne A Gerth, Laurens E Howle
Decompression sickness (DCS) in humans is associated with reductions in ambient pressure that occur during diving, aviation, or certain manned spaceflight operations. Its signs and symptoms can include, but are not limited to, joint pain, radiating abdominal pain, paresthesia, dyspnea, general malaise, cognitive dysfunction, cardiopulmonary dysfunction, and death. Probabilistic models of DCS allow the probability of DCS incidence and time of occurrence during or after a given hyperbaric or hypobaric exposure to be predicted based on how the gas contents or gas bubble volumes vary in hypothetical tissue compartments during the exposure...
January 1, 2018: Computers in Biology and Medicine
Alexander C Stahn, Andreas Werner, Oliver Opatz, Martina A Maggioni, Mathias Steinach, Victoria Weller von Ahlefeld, Alan Moore, Brian E Crucian, Scott M Smith, Sara R Zwart, Thomas Schlabs, Stefan Mendt, Tobias Trippel, Eberhard Koralewski, Jochim Koch, Alexander Choukèr, Günther Reitz, Peng Shang, Lothar Röcker, Karl A Kirsch, Hanns-Christian Gunga
Humans' core body temperature (CBT) is strictly controlled within a narrow range. Various studies dealt with the impact of physical activity, clothing, and environmental factors on CBT regulation under terrestrial conditions. However, the effects of weightlessness on human thermoregulation are not well understood. Specifically, studies, investigating the effects of long-duration spaceflight on CBT at rest and during exercise are clearly lacking. We here show that during exercise CBT rises higher and faster in space than on Earth...
November 23, 2017: Scientific Reports
Anna-Sophia Boguraev, Holly C Christensen, Ashley R Bonneau, John A Pezza, Nicole M Nichols, Antonio J Giraldez, Michelle M Gray, Brandon M Wagner, Jordan T Aken, Kevin D Foley, D Scott Copeland, Sebastian Kraves, Ezequiel Alvarez Saavedra
As the range and duration of human ventures into space increase, it becomes imperative that we understand the effects of the cosmic environment on astronaut health. Molecular technologies now widely used in research and medicine will need to become available in space to ensure appropriate care of astronauts. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is the gold standard for DNA analysis, yet its potential for use on-orbit remains under-explored. We describe DNA amplification aboard the International Space Station (ISS) through the use of a miniaturized miniPCR system...
2017: NPJ Microgravity
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