Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researcher Seeks to Protect Muscles of Astronauts

19.06.2008
As astronaut Garrett Reisman adjusts to Earth’s gravity after three months in space, a University of Kentucky physiologist is continuing his tests on a 50-year-old drug used for liver treatments as a means of helping astronauts perform their work during space walks.

Michael Reid, chair of UK’s Department of Physiology and a founding member of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, is researching the value of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) to limit the effect of free radicals made by muscle during heavy exercise.

His research, funded by NASA, has particular value for astronauts who work in bulky space suits. "Astronauts report that six to eight hours of extra-vehicular activity is as exhausting as running a marathon. The muscle groups most affected are the hands and arms," he said.

NAC was developed in the late 1950s and has become a frontline drug in protecting the liver against drug overdose by scavenging free radicals.

"Free radicals also contribute to muscle fatigue," Reid said. His research has found that NAC "will improve endurance. Now we’re trying to determine the right dose and formulation" for space-travel purposes, he said.

Reid and his team also are concerned about muscle wasting that occurs during deep-space exploration, such as long-term stays on the moon and extended flights to Mars.

Astronaut Reisman knows first-hand the wasting effects of extended periods in low- or no-gravity situations, having just returned to earth from three months in the International Space Station.

"We’ve seen the muscles that astronauts use to stand and walk begin to waste away after a few weeks in Earth orbit. So we know nine months of travel to Mars poses a real risk," Reid said.

"At UK, we’re seeking nutritional or drug-based therapies to help the astronauts maintain muscle mass and strength," he said.

The research has potential ripples beyond space travel.

"If these nutritional strategies help astronauts, they’ll also help the elderly who suffer broken hips. We’re also working with heart-failure patients to determine possible benefits of NAC for them," Reid said.

The research also could benefit cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy, which has been found to have a direct impact on muscles, Reid said.

In striving to become a Top 20 public research institution, the University of Kentucky is a catalyst for a new Commonwealth – a Kentucky that is healthier, better educated, and positioned to compete in a global and changing economy. For more information about UK’s efforts to become a Top 20 university, please go to http://www.uky.edu/OPBPA/Top20.html

Dan Adkins | newswise
Further information:
http://www.uky.edu/OPBPA/Top20.html

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>