Monday, April 13, 2009

Space studies meet health needs on Earth

Researchers are studying how dust inhaled in the low gravity of the lunar surface acts in the lungs. Chantal Darquenne, PhD, associate professor of medicine, left, and Mark Olfert, PhD, assistant professor of medicine, both at the University of California, San Diego, measure the aerosol deposits in the lungs of Janelle Fine, a UCSD associate development engineer. [Photo courtesy of University of California, San Diego]
American Medical News

Research on astronauts may lead to advances in treating bone loss, asthma and cancer.

By Susan J. Landers, AMNews staff.

Washington -- Researchers are making connections between the health risks of dust on the moon and asthma on Earth; between the sleep problems of astronauts and those of shift workers; and between emergency medical care in space and in war zones.

Several researchers funded by the Houston-based National Space Biomedical Research Institute came to Capitol Hill March 25 to demonstrate solutions they have devised for health problems that might develop during space exploration but could apply to life on earth as well.

NSBRI works in partnership with NASA to sponsor research at universities across the country -- an enterprise supported by policy of the American Medical Association, which encourages medical research that results in potential health care benefits in manned space flights as well as in overall medicine and patient care.

For instance, G. Kim Prisk, PhD, DSc, professor of medicine, physiology and radiology at the University of California, San Diego, brought to the briefing a container of simulated lunar dust resembling black talcum powder, modeling the substance central to his efforts to increase understanding of the lung's inner functioning.

Read the article HERE.

No comments: