Scientists Declare War on Space Radiation
by Staff Writers
Moscow (Sputnik) Mar 12, 2018
Leading Russian and foreign space medics and biologists have found a way to protect the human body from the deleterious effects of cosmic radiation to make humans more immune to this phenomenon. The discovery is critically important as it makes it possible to begin an era of deep space manned missions, according to an article published in the latest issue of Oncotarget.
"During our work on this strategy we put together a team of leading scientists from Russia, NASA, the European Space Agency, the Canadian Radiation Center and more than 25 other research centers from around the world. The technology of radioresistance could be put to good use also on Earth, with healthy longevity as a side effect," said Alexander Zhavoronkov, a professor at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and the chief executive director of Insilico Medicine biological startup company.
High levels of radiation are considered one of the main obstacles on humans' path to launching manned flights to Mars or elsewhere in space.
Data obtained by the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) aboard the Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover, indicate that during a flight to the Red Planet humans could be exposed to lethal doses of radiation.
Scientists at NASA, the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medial and Biological Problems and other institutions worldwide are working to resolve this problem by studying the effects of radiation on the brain and other organs of animals and humans and developing means of protecting humans against radiation or at least minimizing its effects.
"The renaissance of cosmonautics could result in the first manned missions to Mars and deep space. However, to survive the deadly effects of space radiation people need to become more immune to outside factors. In our article we offer a method of increasing human resistance to radiation, stress and ageing," Zhavoronkov said.
He added that all life forms on Earth are able to withstand the effects of radiation and repair DNA and other life-giving molecules affected by it.
"By stimulating this ability we could protect cosmonauts and astronauts from radiation. There are other, more radical means of protection, including a partial replacement of "light" atoms of hydrogen and carbon with heavier deuterium and carbon-13 to minimize the effect of radiation on human tissue. We could also find ways to send people to sleep and keep their bodies inside specially-designed radiation-proof chambers during missions to Mars," Alexander Zhavoronkov concluded.
Source: Sputnik News
Common bricks can be used to detect past presence of uranium, plutonium
Raleigh NC (SPX) Mar 06, 2018
Researchers from North Carolina State University have demonstrated a technique that can determine whether bricks - the common building material - have ever been near a radiological source, and identify the specific type of source, such as high enriched uranium or plutonium. The technique is possible when there are no chemical residues left behind, and has security and nuclear nonproliferation applications. Robert Hayes, an associate professor of nuclear engineering at NC State and co-author of a p ... read more
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