Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pharmacy Researcher Aims to Help Crews Stay Healthy on Mars Mission

02.11.2004


When earthlings make their first attempt to land on Mars, E. Paul Larrat will be justified in thinking he played a small role in the 35-million-mile voyage.

Larrat, associate dean of the University of Rhode Island’s College of Pharmacy, spent much of the summer as a National Aeronautics and Space Administration Faculty Fellow at the Advanced Life Support Center at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Larrat was one of 100 fellows chosen from a field of 700 nominees to work at various NASA research centers across the country. His work focused on 20 plant species that NASA believes could be grown during a flight to Mars and after landing on the fourth planet from the Sun. “We looked at all the candidate crops and we tagged a few for potential problems based on the byproducts they gave off,” Larrat said.



Larrat, who oversees the research and graduate programs of URI’s College of Pharmacy, was assigned to a center that examines issues and problems associated with supporting crews on long-duration flights. “On a three-year trip to Mars, crews are going to have to recycle water, and grow some of their own food. Much of the center’s work focuses on making sure the crews don’t die because they lack water, air, or food. But it is also concerned with life support processes that could threaten life.“I worked on the air supply and making sure that it does not become contaminated by the growing of certain plants,” Larrat said. “This really fit in well with my public health-epidemiology research work.”

He used a gas chromatograph to test what was emitted by small samples of the potential food sources. “We worked four days a week at the center, and on Wednesday, we had a chance to tour various sites at the Kennedy Space Center,” Larrat said. “We had a chance to see workers putting tiles on the shuttle, Endeavor, and the recovery boats that pick up the solid rocket boosters after liftoff. “To stand under the shuttle and touch it and be a part of the space program was a dream come true, because I have had a lifelong interest in space.”

He was fortunate to be at Kennedy for the 35th anniversary celebrations of the Apollo missions. Jim Lovell, the commander of Apollo 13, which had to abort its mission to the moon, spoke while Larrat was at the Kennedy Space Center. “When the astronauts come in, it’s like they are rock stars. Many come on their own private jets and then people swarm around them for autographs.”

He keeps in contact with his research colleagues, and they are planning to publish their findings and to present them at the International Space Conference next year. They compiled a report of 200 pages.

He said his fellowship also helps pharmacy students see that their options for careers are many. “I know that anyone from our program would be able to succeed in this environment,” he said. “There is already work going on to produce medicines in space, and then to commercialize those products,” Larrat said. “Fifteen years from now when we are heading to Mars, I can say I was a small part of this. And I’d like to think the crew will be healthier because of the work we have done.”

| newswise
Further information:
http://www.uri.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht GLUT5 fluorescent probe fingerprints cancer cells
20.04.2018 | Michigan Technological University

nachricht Scientists re-create brain neurons to study obesity and personalize treatment
20.04.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>