How to save astronauts` eyes during space travel
Washington: More than 30 percent of astronauts returning from two-week space shuttle missions and 60 percent who spent six months aboard the International Space Station were found to be suffering from eye problems.
Mice were flown aboard shuttle flights STS-133 in March 2011 and STS-135 in July 2011 as part of the Commercial Biomedical Testing Module-2 (CBTM-2) and CBTM-3 investigations into how space affects muscle and bones.
These sets of mice found second life, contributing to other studies through a tissue-sharing program.
Two studies used eye tissue from the mice to provide the first direct evidence that spaceflight causes cellular-level damage that has the potential to cause long-term vision problems.
Susana Zanello, Universities Space Research Association scientist at NASA`s Johnson Space Center in Houston, examined eye tissue for changes in gene expression in the retina-the sensory tissue at the back of the eye.
Results from a study of mice from the second flight were detailed by Xiao W. Mao, MD, a researcher in the Division of Radiation Research at Loma Linda University and Medical Center in California, and her colleagues in "Spaceflight Environment Induces Mitochondrial Oxidative Damage in Ocular Tissue.
Both studies implicated oxidative stress in eye damage. Spaceflight exposes astronauts - and mice - to radiation, hypothermia, hypoxia and variations in gravity, all of which may play roles in tissue injury, and, in particular, oxidative stress.
In the STS-133 samples, Zanello found increased expression of genes involved in response to oxidative stress in retina tissue. "We saw this effect immediately after landing, which means it was a defensive increase in response to oxidative stress," she said.
Also notable was that a week after spaceflight, the response had decreased, indicating that the damage may be reversible. "That opens the door to the possibility of countermeasures, such as nutritional anti-oxidants," Zanello said.
The studies have been published in journal Gravitational and Space Research and in journal Radiation Research.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- DNA: Analysis of Indus water treaty between India and Pakistan
- DNA: US army's joint exercise with Indian Army and their consolation on Uri attack
- India- America joint military exercise begins in Ranikhet
- India to activate laser walls on LOC to stop infiltration
- Panel discussion on 'Most Favoured Nation' status India accorded to Pakistan in 1996
- Five takeaways from Sushma Swaraj's speech at UN General Assembly
- Reliance Jio impact: Vodafone offers 10 GB data at 1 GB rate
- 7 scenarios Pak will face directly if India scraps Indus Waters Treaty – Read details
- REALITY CHECK of WhatsApp message: How common man can sign petition to declare Pakistan a terror state
- Rameez Raja picks all-time XI - Three Indians, but just one Pakistani make it to the list