HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Science » Science (Group) » Houston, We Have Another ...

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:37 AM

Houston, We Have Another Problem—Study Shows that Space Travel is Harmful to the Brain

http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/index.cfm?id=3713
Houston, We Have Another Problem

Study Shows that Space Travel is Harmful to the Brain

December 31, 2012

As if space travel was not already filled with enough dangers, a new study out today in the journal PLOS ONE shows that cosmic radiation – which would bombard astronauts on deep space missions to places like Mars – could accelerate the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

“Galactic cosmic radiation poses a significant threat to future astronauts,” said M. Kerry O’Banion, M.D., Ph.D., a professor in the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy and the senior author of the study. “The possibility that radiation exposure in space may give rise to health problems such as cancer has long been recognized. However, this study shows for the first time that exposure to radiation levels equivalent to a mission to Mars could produce cognitive problems and speed up changes in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.”

While space is full of radiation, the earth’s magnetic field generally protects the planet and people in low earth orbit from these particles. However, once astronauts leave orbit, they are exposed to constant shower of various radioactive particles. With appropriate warning, astronauts can be shielded from dangerous radiation associated with solar flares. But there are also other forms of cosmic radiation that, for all intents and purposes, cannot be effectively blocked.



Since that time, several studies have demonstrated the potential cancer, cardiovascular, and musculoskeletal impact of galactic cosmic radiation. The study out today for the first time examines the potential impact of space radiation on neurodegeneration, in particular, the biological processes in the brain that contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. O’Banion – whose research focuses on how radiation affects the central nervous system – and his team have been working with NASA for over eight years.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0053275

11 replies, 1788 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply Houston, We Have Another Problem—Study Shows that Space Travel is Harmful to the Brain (Original post)
OKIsItJustMe Jan 2013 OP
ChairmanAgnostic Jan 2013 #1
OKIsItJustMe Jan 2013 #5
thelordofhell Jan 2013 #2
Speck Tater Jan 2013 #3
IDoMath Jan 2013 #4
ChairmanAgnostic Jan 2013 #6
IDoMath Jan 2013 #7
Phoonzang Jan 2013 #8
stone space May 2014 #9
LongTomH May 2014 #10
cstanleytech May 2014 #11

Response to OKIsItJustMe (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:42 AM

1. this isn't news. They've known for a decade about this risk

that is why the most advanced mars ships have tanks of water surrounding the living areas.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ChairmanAgnostic (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 12:12 PM

5. They've known there are risks associated with cosmic radiation

What is news is this particular risk.
… The study out today for the first time examines the potential impact of space radiation on neurodegeneration, in particular, the biological processes in the brain that contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. …

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to OKIsItJustMe (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:43 AM

2. Remember the good old days of space travel

Where it only turned you into an orange rock creature, or made your body super stretchy and pliable, or set your body completely on fire, or even made you invisible..........memories

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to OKIsItJustMe (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:48 AM

3. As a little kid my dream was to go into space.

 

Now my dream is to keep Earth liveable.

Looks like neither of my dreams is going to come true.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to OKIsItJustMe (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 11:59 AM

4. A new fashion craze will emerge

 

Metal skull caps!


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to IDoMath (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 02:23 PM

6. As Tin Foil Hats enjoy an unexpected comeback!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ChairmanAgnostic (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 03:47 PM

7. Not dense enough

 

Will have to be lead-foil. Although the rich and fashion-conscious can use gold and platinum foil. Not as a safe but definitely more stylish.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to OKIsItJustMe (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:10 AM

8. There's a way around almost anything

There's a lot of research out there on artificial magnetic fields. Also...just go faster. VASMIR could get a ship to mars in a little over a month instead of 6.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to OKIsItJustMe (Original post)

Mon May 5, 2014, 04:14 PM

9. I guess that we'll have to cross off Mars as a potential summer vacation spot. (nt)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to OKIsItJustMe (Original post)

Tue May 6, 2014, 03:19 PM

10. That's why Gerard K. O'Neill's space colony designs included a thick layer of radiation shielding

Three meters of lunar regolith or 'slag' from space manufacturing:



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to OKIsItJustMe (Original post)

Sat May 10, 2014, 06:37 PM

11. Quick someone tell the republicans!!!!

If we are lucky maybe they will panic and try to get off the planet.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread