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Researcher Finds Earth-Like Gravity May Solve Astronaut Vision Ailment

14 Sep 2018, 16:15 UTC
Researcher Finds Earth-Like Gravity May Solve Astronaut Vision Ailment
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A Florida State University scientist may have discovered a partial antidote to a problem facing many astronauts — vision changes that occur as a result of space flight. Michael Delp, dean of the FSU College of Human Sciences, and his colleagues studied mice on the International Space Station. They found that blood vessels important for the regulation of fluid pressure within the eyes of the mice were damaged as a result of space flight. In addition, essential proteins for vision were altered.However, some of the mice on the ISS were kept in a controlled environment where they lived in Earth-like gravity. These mice did not experience nearly as much damage to their vision.The researcher’s findings are published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.“The problem is the longer the astronauts are in space, the more likely they are to experience visual impairment,” Delp said. “Some astronauts will recover from vision changes, but some don’t. So this is a high priority for NASA and space agencies worldwide. With this application of artificial gravity, we found it didn’t totally prevent changes to the eye, but we didn’t see the worst outcomes.”About 30 percent of astronauts on short-term space shuttle flights — roughly ...

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