• By Dana Sparks

Discovery's Edge: Mayo Clinic and NASA – Exploring two frontiers

April 18, 2017

NASA space station above the earthSpace—with near-zero gravity, no atmosphere, and extremes of heat and cold—is an unusual and often hostile environment.

But it’s also an opportunity—for medical researchers who see maladies and phenomena they can scarcely examine in the familiar environment of Earth.

NASA Space Station astronaut working on Dr. Zubair's stem cell research.

NASA Space Station astronaut working on Dr. Zubair's stem cell research.

Several Mayo Clinic researchers and clinicians are working with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and other collaborators to learn more about the effects of space travel on the human body, to better equip humans to withstand long space travel, and to exploit the unique environment of microgravity.“It’s difficult to believe that we won’t be learning things that will be applicable to clinical practice,” says Alejandro Rabinstein, M.D., medical director of Mayo Clinic’s Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit, who is investigating the feasibility of putting astronauts in a hypothermic torpor for transport to Mars. “There may be things that we are going to learn because we are going to be testing human physiology. That makes it particularly interesting to me.” Read the rest of the article.
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