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
Study tracks inner workings of the brain with new biosensor
16.08.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
17.08.2018 | Event News
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
17.08.2018 | Information Technology
17.08.2018 | Life Sciences