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 Diverse amyloid structures and dynamics revealed by high-speed atomic force microscopy
04.08.2020 | Kanazawa University

nachricht New approach for targeted cancer immunotherapy
30.07.2020 | Universität Basel

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: AI & single-cell genomics

New software predicts cell fate

Traditional single-cell sequencing methods help to reveal insights about cellular differences and functions - but they do this with static snapshots only...

Im Focus: TU Graz Researchers synthesize nanoparticles tailored for special applications

“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.

Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...

Im Focus: Tailored light inspired by nature

An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.

Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...

Im Focus: NYUAD astrophysicist investigates the possibility of life below the surface of Mars

  • A rover expected to explore below the surface of Mars in 2022 has the potential to provide more insights
  • The findings published in Scientific Reports, Springer Nature suggests the presence of traces of water on Mars, raising the question of the possibility of a life-supporting environment

Although no life has been detected on the Martian surface, a new study from astrophysicist and research scientist at the Center for Space Science at NYU Abu...

Im Focus: Manipulating non-magnetic atoms in a chromium halide enables tuning of magnetic properties

New approach creates synthetic layered magnets with unprecedented level of control over their magnetic properties

The magnetic properties of a chromium halide can be tuned by manipulating the non-magnetic atoms in the material, a team, led by Boston College researchers,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2020”: The final touches for surfaces

23.07.2020 | Event News

Conference radar for cybersecurity

21.07.2020 | Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

First radio detection of an extrasolar planetary system around a main-sequence star

04.08.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

The art of making tiny holes

04.08.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

Early Mars was covered in ice sheets, not flowing rivers

04.08.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>