Space travel affects astronaut’s health at molecular level
Spending time in the zero-gravity conditions of space can cause astronauts’ bodies to undergo significant changes at the molecular level, putting them at risk of various heath issues, a study has warned.
Scientists, led by Evgeny Nikolaev from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) in Russia, analysed the effect of space conditions on the protein composition in blood samples of 18 Russian cosmonauts.
They found many significant changes in the human body are caused by space flight. These changes are intended to help the body adapt and take place in all major types of human cells, tissues and organs. The effects of spaceflight on the human body have been studied actively since the mid-20th century. It is widely known that space conditions influence metabolism, thermoregulation, heart biorhythms, muscle tone, the respiratory system and other physiological aspects of the human body.
However, the molecular mechanisms driving these physiological changes remain unknown. Scientists focused on proteins, key players in the adaptive processes in an organism. To gain a deeper understanding of the changes in human physiology during space travel, the research team quantified concentrations of 125 proteins in the blood plasma of 18 Russian cosmonauts who had been on long-duration missions to …read more