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Tag: microgravity

Space worm tests show microgravity can alter genes

Space worm tests show microgravity can alter genes

Science
Nov. 25 (UPI) -- After a tour on the International Space Station, a group of nematode worms exhibited changes in nearly 1,000 genes. The findings, published Wednesday in the journal iScience, suggests prolonged exposure to microgravity can influence cells at the genetic level. Advertisement Though most of the genetic changes identified by scientists were relatively subtle, researchers also observed a handful of more significant genetic alterations among nervous system cells, or neurons. The study, a collaboration between the University of Exeter and NASA GeneLab, could help scientists identify the genetic origins of the physiological effects of space travel, highlighted by numerous previous studies. "We looked at levels of every gene in the worms' genome and identified a clear pattern of...
Prolonged microgravity exposure doesn’t cause loss of brain tissue, study says

Prolonged microgravity exposure doesn’t cause loss of brain tissue, study says

Science
Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Long-term space travel can have a variety of effects on the physiology of astronauts. New research suggests prolonged exposure to microgravity does cause parts of the brain to reorganize itself, but does not trigger neurodegeneration, the loss of brain tissue. For the new study, published Friday in the journal Science Advances, researchers imaged the brains of 11 male cosmonauts from Russia who spent an average of roughly six months in space. Seven months later, the team followed up with a second round of imaging. Advertisement "This specific type of MRI we used, diffusion MRI, operates by acquiring 153 brain scans for each session, rather than just one brain scan," lead researcher Steven Jillings, doctoral student at the University of Antwerp, told UPI in an email. "Each...