Stress in space for life on Earth
Alexander Choukèr, Senior Physician and Associate Professor at the Department of Anaesthesiology, Lecturer at the Ludwig Maximalians University, Munich
- Astronaut's bodies take a lot of stress in space, from cardiovascular to regulation of their body temperature.
- What is the cause of this stress and how can we avoid this?
- Research is conducted on the ISS but ground-based facilities form an important part of studies.
- Studying space flight has led to understanding obesity.
- An astronaut study of salt intake on Mir led to findings that salt intake has a direct relation to blood pressure
- Salt intake also influences bone loss. By cutting down on salt, less bone is lost in astronauts. The benefits for people on Earth apply to sufferers of osteoporosis.
- Microbes in space become more active, uniquely these organisms seem to benefit from microgravity.
- Studying microbe activity in space led to better vaccines.
- When stress goes up, our immune system weakens. The source of this stress is from the brain; studies now are looking at how our brains influence the immune system when under stress.
- Another stress factor is radiation. The Matroshka module on the ISS is analysing radiation received in space. This research allows us to target hard-to-reach brain tumours without damaging the brain itself.
- The role of space for human life sciences: offering studies of humans under stress showing rapid onset of health problems beneficial for study.