Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Study finds time in space is risk to astronauts' eyes, genes
by Staff Writers
Houston (UPI) Oct 24, 2013

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Astronauts spending as little as 2 weeks in space may experience profound changes in eye structure and gene expression, U.S. researchers report.

A study of how low gravity and radiation and oxidative damage affected mice kept on the International Space Station examined eye-related gene expression and cell behavior after spaceflight, they said.

Researchers from Houston Methodist, NASA's Johnson Space Center and two other institutions reported their results in the journal Gravitational and Space Research.

"We found many changes in the expression of genes that help cells cope with oxidative stress in the retina, possibly caused by radiation exposure," Houston Methodist pathologist Patricia Chevez-Barrios, said.

Studies since 2001 have suggested astronauts are at increased risk of developing eye problems like premature age-related macular degeneration. High-energy radiation from the sun can cause damaging chemical reactions in cells, collectively called oxidative stress, and while Earth's atmosphere protects people on the ground, there's no such protection for astronauts.

Some changes in eye structure noted in the study "were partially reversible upon return to Earth," Chevez-Barrios said, but some optic nerve changes consistent with mechanical injury "did not resolve."

"And we saw changes in the expression of DNA damage repair genes and in apoptotic pathways, which help the body destroy cells that are irreparably damaged."

"We think our results are plausible based on what we know from previous studies of structural changes and damage caused by oxidative stress and changes in the eyes of astronauts returning to Earth, but additional experiments are needed to confirm what we are reporting about gene expression, cellular behavior and mechanisms of damage," she said.


Related Links
Space Medicine Technology and Systems

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Animal mission to space gives clues to astronauts' vision problems
Moscow (UPI) Oct 4, 2013
A mission with dozens of animals launched into space in a Russian satellite yielded clues to why astronauts' eyesight deteriorates in space, scientists say. The experiment showed the capacity of the cerebral arteries was diminished in space, which accounts for the effect on vision, Vladimir Sychev of Russia's Institute of Medical and Biological Studies said. "We used to think tha ... read more

Crowdfunded Lunar Spacecraft Reaches Funding Milestone

LADEE Continues To Settle Into Operational Lunar Orbit

NASA's moon landing remembered as a promise of a 'future which never happened'

Russia could build manned lunar base

Mars Crater May Actually Be Ancient Supervolcano

Scientists discover how the atmosphere of Mars turned to stone

Mars Rover Opportunity Heads Uphill

India sets November 5 for Mars mission launch

US firm offers 30 kilometer-high balloon ride

NASA strives to tame 'big data' flowing in from dozens of missions

Chinese no longer banned from NASA astronomy meet

'Pillownauts' spend 3 weeks in bed as part of astronaut studies

China Moon Rover A New Opportunity To Explore Our Nearest Neighbor

Is China Challenging Space Security

NASA's China policy faces mounting pressure

Ten Years of Chinese Astronauts

Cygnus cargo craft leaves international space station

Cygnus cargo craft readies to leave space station

Aerojet Rocketdyne Thrusters Help Cygnus Spacecraft Berth at the International Space Station

First CASIS Funded Payloads Berthed to the ISS

Gaia launch delayed several months

Takeoff of Proton LV with US satellite may be put off until Oct 25

Technical glitch will delay launch of European space mission

Astrium awarded three new contracts by ESA for Ariane 6 and Ariane 5 ME launchers

Count of discovered exoplanets passes the 1,000 mark

Iowa research team see misaligned planets in distant system

Astronomer see misaligned planets in distant system

Water discovered in remnants of extrasolar rocky world orbiting white dwarf

Suez Environnement sees skies clearing for waste disposal

NASA Laser Communication System Sets Record with Data Transmissions to and from Moon

NSF Awards $12 Million to SDSC to Deploy "Comet" Supercomputer

Rice scientists create a super antioxidant

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement