Astronauts collect blood for immune study

Feb 26, 2008

International Space Station crew members are collecting blood, saliva and urine samples to study their immune function in microgravity.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said while previous research conducted after landing showed dramatic changes in crew members' immune systems, the on-going first-of-its-kind study is the only one to comprehensively monitor the human immune system before, during and after spaceflight.

Dr. Clarence Sams at the Johnson Space Center in Houston is the principal investigator for the study that will determine the clinical risks due to the adverse effects of spaceflight on immunity and confirm an immune-monitoring strategy.

"Brief stress for astronauts, such as launch and landing,can alter immunity," said Dr. Brian Crucian, a co-investigator for the experiment. "Landing is a significant stress on the human body and it somewhat skews the post-flight data we get from crew members.

"Since we don't know if the immune system changes during flight will resolve or worsen over a long-duration mission, this is a perfect opportunity to determine the status of immunity as it balances out during flight," Crucian said.

Researchers said the study will help determine whether countermeasures are needed to prevent immune dysfunction during exploration-class spaceflight.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: NASA issues 'remastered' view of Jupiter's moon Europa

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Identical twins offer up selves for space science

May 28, 2014

Astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly will take part in an unprecedented study of identical twins to better understand the effects of prolonged weightlessness by comparing the twin in space with the twin on the ...

Recommended for you

NASA issues 'remastered' view of Jupiter's moon Europa

Nov 21, 2014

(Phys.org) —Scientists have produced a new version of what is perhaps NASA's best view of Jupiter's ice-covered moon, Europa. The mosaic of color images was obtained in the late 1990s by NASA's Galileo ...

European space plane set for February launch

Nov 21, 2014

Europe's first-ever "space plane" will be launched on February 11 next year, rocket firm Arianespace said Friday after a three-month delay to fine-tune the mission flight plan.

Space station rarity: Two women on long-term crew

Nov 21, 2014

For the 21st-century spacewoman, gender is a subject often best ignored. After years of training for their first space mission, the last thing Samantha Cristoforetti and Elana Serova want to dwell on is the ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.