Medicine doesnt work properly in space
2011-04-18 0:00

By Alasdair Wilkins | io9.com


Heres one more unexpected challenge for space travel: drugs crucial for treating everything from a mild headache to a serious infection dont work properly in the radically different environment away from Earth...and yes, radiation might be part of the problem.

On Earth, medicine can generally remain effective for about two years, as long as its stored correctly. Proper storage generally involves keeping it away from direct sunlight and in a cool, dry space. But there are plenty of conditions that we take for granted on Earth that are nothing like those we find in space, where "radiation, excessive vibrations, microgravity, a carbon dioxide rich environment and variations in humidity and temperature" are all potential issues.

To figure out what effect all that might have on medicine, the researchers sent up four boxes of drugs containing 35 different medications up to the International Space Station. At the same time, they kept the same set of drugs in ideal conditions at the Johnson Space Center. The space drugs came back at different times - some just a couple weeks later, some more than two years later - but they all consistently showed reduced effectiveness at much faster rates than if they had remained on Earth.

This means that Earth-made medicines may not be useful on long-term space missions, such as a first crewed mission to Mars. In all likelihood, the drugs will need to be modified to take into account the vastly different conditions of space. Still, space drugs can have their advantages, as Dr. Colin Cable, the science information adviser at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, explains:

"On Earth, medicines are tested to assess the effects of, for example, temperature, moisture, oxygen and light, and are packaged and stored to ensure they remain stable and effective over their shelf life. Repackaging of medicines into containers that do not give the medicines the protection required to moisture, oxygen and light can have a detrimental effect on their stability. One potential benefit of keeping medicines in a Space Station is that the medicines will be exposed to a carbon dioxide-rich environment, this may help minimise the degradation of those medicines prone to oxidation, such as adrenaline, vitamin C and vitamin A."


Article from: io9.com




Related Articles
American Society of Aerospace Medicine Specialists
Drugs lose effectiveness in space
Gagarin: The 50th anniversary of human space flight
NASA tests Mars space suit in Argentine Antarctica
Embryonic Idea: Human Procreation in Space Would Be Perilous


Latest News from our Front Page

Better Identification of Viking Corpses Reveals: Half of the Warriors Were Female
2015-04-25 4:52
Shieldmaidens are not a myth! A recent archaeological discovery has shattered the stereotype of exclusively male Viking warriors sailing out to war while their long-suffering wives wait at home with baby Vikings. (We knew it! We always knew it.) Plus, some other findings are challenging that whole “rape and pillage” thing, too. Researchers at the University of Western Australia decided ...
Off Your Knees, Germany! Ernst Zundel 1983 - 2003
2015-04-25 1:15
For more information on the holocaust, how the war was forced upon Germany, and the REAL victims of the second world war see: http://gblt.webs.com/Real_Holocaust.htm http://web.archive.org/web/20130806074314/http://www.666blacksun.org/ http://www.zundelsite.org/
IRS Drops Attack For Six Years – No Evidence of Jurisdiction
2015-04-24 20:29
A big congrats to a friend I’ve been working with for several years, he stood up to the predators commonly called the “IRS” and they dropped their attack. Thanks also for providing me with the proof below. The criminals called the “IRS” initiated an attack claiming my friend was required to file six tax returns, or explain how he made ...
Into Eternity - Finland's 100,000 Year Massive Underground Spent Nuclear Fuel Program
2015-04-24 20:49
Into Eternity is a documentary about a deep geological repository for nuclear waste. The concept of long-term underground storage for radioactive waste has been explored since the 1950s. The inner part of the Russian doll-like storage canisters is to be composed of copper. Hence in the case of Onkalo it is tightly linked to experiments on copper corrosion in running ...
SPLC Accuses Oath Keepers of Inciting “Armed Confrontation” Over Sugar Pine Mine
2015-04-24 20:22
The Southern Poverty Law Center has accused Oath Keepers of inciting an armed confrontation with BLM authorities over the Sugar Pine Mine dispute in Oregon, despite the fact that the organization has explicitly stated that it is not promoting armed confrontation with the feds. In an article provocatively posted on the organization’s ‘Hatewatch’ section entitled Oath Keepers Descend Upon Oregon with ...
More News »