New NASA and NSBRI report on sex and gender differences in adaptation to space flight

November 17, 2014, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc
Credit: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

In the future, as space exploration takes astronauts on longer missions and more female astronauts participate, "The Impact of Sex and Gender on Adaptation to Space" will become increasingly critical to astronaut safety and mission success, as explored in a special collection of articles published in Journal of Women's Health.

In the Executive Summary, Drs. Saralyn Mark, Graham Scott, Dorit Donoviel, Lauren Leveton, John Charles, and Bette Siegel and Ms. Erin Mahoney from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI), and Valador, Inc. provide an overview of six individual articles in the November issue of the Journal derived from the findings of workgroups formed to report on the current research related to sex- and gender-based differences in how humans adapt to spaceflight. Each workgroup and article focuses on a specific type of adaptation: cardiovascular, immunological, sensorimotor, musculoskeletal, reproductive, and behavioral.

In her Commentary, Dr. Mark remarks that in addition to ongoing missions for the purpose of and research, "NASA has promoted the development of the commercial sector for the transport of payloads and eventually humans." The impact of sex and gender should influence "the development of equipment, machine-human interfaces, and countermeasures including the use of personalized medicine and genomics or -'astro-omics.'"

"Understanding sex and in physiological and psychological adaptation to space is increasingly important as the number of female astronauts increases," says Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women's Health, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women's Health, Richmond, VA, and President of the Academy of Women's Health.

Explore further: Gender stereotypes keep women in the out-group

More information: The articles are available Open Access on the Journal of Women's Health website at http://online.liebertpub.com/toc/jwh/23/11.

Related Stories

Gender stereotypes keep women in the out-group

May 29, 2014

Women have accounted for half the students in U.S. medical schools for nearly two decades, but as professors, deans, and department chairs in medical schools their numbers still lag far behind those of men. Why long-held ...

Is space tourism safe or do civilians risk health effects?

October 30, 2014

Several companies are developing spacecraft designed to take ordinary citizens, not astronauts, on short trips into space. "Space tourism" and short periods of weightlessness appear to be safe for most individuals according ...

Recommended for you

Can China keep it's climate promises?

March 26, 2019

China can easily meet its Paris climate pledge to peak its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, but sourcing 20 percent of its energy needs from renewables and nuclear power by that date may be considerably harder, researchers ...

In the Tree of Life, youth has its advantages

March 26, 2019

It's a question that has captivated naturalists for centuries: Why have some groups of organisms enjoyed incredibly diversity—like fish, birds, insects—while others have contained only a few species—like humans.

Cellular microRNA detection with miRacles

March 26, 2019

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short noncoding regulatory RNAs that can repress gene expression post-transcriptionally and are therefore increasingly used as biomarkers of disease. Detecting miRNAs can be arduous and expensive as ...

0 comments

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.