The possibility of astronauts getting cancer during long missions is serious

While this study is a unique study for the long-term storage of astronauts' blood. , but its results are not fully reliable. For example, another study in 2019 showed that astronauts do not die in the short term due to cancer caused by space ionizing radiation. For this reason, the researchers suggest that astronauts should undergo periodic blood screening to watch for potential mutations.

p> A biological study, the results of which were published on August 31 (9 September) in the journal "Nature Communications", states that all fourteen astronauts present in this study, from NASA's space shuttle program, have DNA mutations in their stem cells. They have become blood producers. The high rate of these mutations, although not unusual considering the age of the astronauts, is at the key threshold of the risk of disease.

While this study is a unique study for the long-term storage of astronauts' blood. , but its results are not fully reliable. For example, another study in 2019 showed that astronauts do not die in the short term due to cancer caused by space ionizing radiation. For this reason, the researchers suggest that astronauts should undergo periodic blood screening to watch for potential mutations.

Given these possibilities, surveillance programs will be very important because NASA is on the path to long-duration deep space missions with its Artemis program to the moon and later manned trips to Mars. International

Dr. David Goukassian, the author of the study and a professor of cardiology at the Icahn School of Medicine in Mount Sinai, noted that the new study is due to the "increasing interest in spaceflight." commercial and deep space exploration and as a result potential health risks due to exposure to various harmful factors during repeated or long-duration space missions. Astronauts has changed, which critics say is discriminatory against women because historically the limits of the comet Ray has been compared to male astronauts. To date, other genders have not been revealed in the agency's population.

Researchers identified a higher frequency of somatic mutations in the genes of the 14 astronauts examined in the study than in the population that has gone to space. Between 1998 and 2001, the group spent an average of 12 days in space on shuttle missions. Almost 85% of this group were men, and six of the astronauts were experiencing their first space mission.

Researchers collected the whole blood samples of the astronauts twice, exactly 10 days before the space flight and on the day of landing. they did White blood cells were collected once, three days after landing. Then the blood samples remained untouched for 20 years in a freezer at minus 80 degrees Celsius.

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However, the somatic mutations observed in the genes were less than two percent. In the statement of this research team, it is stated that people who cross this threshold face a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases and some types of cancer. Gokasian added: "The existence of these mutations necessarily means that It's not that astronauts get cardiovascular diseases or cancer, but there is a risk that this will happen over time, with continuous and long-term exposure to the high-radiation environments of deep space."

Cover photo: A graphic sketch of an astronaut in deep space
Credit: Getty Images

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