Tuesday, March 13, 2012

12.8 Farewell, Mr Spock?

News today (see here):

Brain scans of NASA astronauts who were in space for more than a month revealed potentially serious abnormalities that could set back plans for longer deep space missions, according to a US study published Tuesday.

Researchers from The University of Texas Medical School in Houston scanned the eyes and brains of 27 astronauts who had spent an average of 108 days in space, either on space shuttle missions or aboard the International Space Station.

They found that those who spent more than a month in space were more likely to suffer from intracranial hypertension -- a potentially serious condition that occurs when pressure builds within the skull.

The symptoms included excess cerebral-spinal fluid around the optic nerve in 33 percent of the astronauts studied, while a fifth showed a flattening of the back of the eyeball, which affects the ability to focus, research published in the journal Radiology showed.

OK, what about female astronauts?

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