Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

News from space for osteoporosis patients on earth: resistance is not futile

01.04.2009
New article in the FASEB Journal shows for the first time that bone-destroying cells sense the absence of mechanical resistance and react by destroying bone

Results of a space experiment published online in The FASEB Journal have yielded a giant leap for science that could translate into an important step for mankind in the ongoing battle against osteoporosis. In the report, a team of Italian scientists show for the first time that a lack of resistance (i.e., gravity) activates bone-destroying cells.

This outcome helps explain more completely why bedridden patients and astronauts experience bone loss and provides an entirely new drug target for stopping the process.

"This study cuts straight to the bone in terms of why our skeletons deteriorate with disuse," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "As is the case with human intelligence, bone loss is an example of 'use it or lose it.' This study from space has pinpointed the cellular culprits that destroy our bones when we don't use them to support weight."

Using two sets of bone-destroying cells, called "osteoclasts," obtained from the bone marrow of mice femurs, the scientists launched one set into space via the European Space Agency's 2007 FOTON-M3 mission and kept the other set on Earth. On the satellite, the cells were maintained in custom-designed bioreactors equipped with automatic nutrient providers. At the same time, the other set of cells were kept in the same type of bioreactors on the Earth's surface. After twelve days, the experiment was stopped and the cells were examined. The analysis revealed an increase in genes involved in osteoclast maturation and activity, as well as increased bone loss when compared to the cells on Earth.

"Space might be the final frontier, but we've got some serious hurdles to clear before we conquer microgravity, and bone loss is one of them," Weissmann added. "Even here on Earth, we all face bone loss. Osteoporosis inexorably hits men and women alike, and this European study points to one cause: lack of resistance."

According to NASA, an astronaut could lose as much as 10 to 15 percent of pre-flight bone mass after only six months in space. The National Osteoporosis Foundation reports that at least 25 million people in the United States suffer from bone loss.

Cody Mooneyhan | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.faseb.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Fast-tracking T cell therapies with immune-mimicking biomaterials
16.01.2018 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

nachricht Dengue takes low and slow approach to replication
12.01.2018 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

White graphene makes ceramics multifunctional

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

Breaking bad metals with neutrons

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

ISFH-CalTeC is “designated test centre” for the confirmation of solar cell world records

16.01.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>