Space will destroy us from the inside: gravity and cosmic rays can harm our health

A worrying new study by scientists has highlighted aspects of space travel that we often ignore, but which do not diminish their importance for protecting our health.

Humanity has been reaching for the stars for a long time, trying to expand the horizons of endless cosmic spaces and discover what they hide there. However, in addition to astronomical discoveries, scientists have recently discovered that deep space poses a serious threat to our health. Before we can conquer the stars and enter planets alien to us, humanity will have to adapt to more mundane dangers, writes ScienceAlert.

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A group of scientists from around the world began investigating these issues by focusing on our microbiome, the collection of microorganisms that live in and on us and play a critical role in maintaining our health. Their research has provided insight into how the complex space environment can affect these small, beneficial creatures in our bodies.

Our microbiome is a bustling metropolis of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that help us digest food, fight off unwanted invaders, and even regulate our mood. But in space, this community is subjected to unprecedented stress from microgravity and cosmic rays, which can alter its composition and function. For example, cosmic rays, which are high-energy particles coming from space, have the potential to damage our cells and DNA, which can lead to an increased risk of cancer.

This research also revealed an interesting aspect: astronauts may develop some form of resistance to radiation; this is a phenomenon known as radioadaptation; This suggests that our bodies can learn to cope with the harsh conditions of space. But this adaptation manifests itself differently in different people, pointing to the complexity of our biological response to space travel.

Scientists suggest the International Space Station (ISS) as an ideal laboratory to further investigate how space affects our microbiome. They underline that more research is needed, especially given the possibility of microbes developing resistance to antibiotics; This is a serious problem for astronauts on long missions, who are already vulnerable to many factors due to their weakened immune systems.

Scientists have also found that microbes can quickly evolve and outperform us in the harsh conditions of space. This could have significant implications for long-term space travel, and there is a need to understand and perhaps use this adaptability of microorganisms to our advantage to make our stay in space more comfortable.

Future research directions suggested by the team include regularly testing astronauts to assess their adaptation to radiation and selecting those with high adaptive responses for more complex tasks. They also point out the challenges of studying microbiomes in space, such as the unique microgravity conditions that affect the growth and unpredictable behavior of microorganisms.

Humans have long dreamed of distant worlds, and it seems that protecting our microbiome is crucial to making those dreams a reality. Therefore, as we prepare to fly to distant worlds, humanity must not only build rockets and plan flights, but also pay attention to the safety of our invisible allies who make life possible both on Earth and among the stars.

Previously Focus He wrote about a scientist’s statement that extraterrestrial life would be discovered within 20 years. The British astrophysicist believes that extraterrestrial life will be discovered on planets outside the solar system in the near future. But there is a caveat.

Moreover Focus wrote about a new theory of the origin of life on our planet, radically different from the existing theory. Researchers believe textbooks misrepresent the origins of life on our planet.

Source: Focus


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