Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Roadmap to develop strategies for radioresistance to facilitate space exploration published

An international team of researchers from various academic institutions and NASA Ames Research Center have published a roadmap toward enhancing human radioresistance in the peer-reviewed journal Oncotarget. This is important as our interest in space exploration and colonization is increasing and therefore, research into methods of enhancing radioresistance to protect against the various forms of space radiation that spacefarers would be subjected to needs to be accelerated accordingly. In addition researchers believe that research into radioresistance would also promote healthspan extension.

Strategies for radioresistance.
Credit: Biogerontology Research Foundation and other institutions mentioned below.
The roadmap outlines future research directions toward the goal of enhancing human radioresistance, including up regulation of endogenous repair and radioprotective mechanisms, possible leeways into gene therapy in order to enhance radioresistance via the translation of exogenous and engineered DNA repair and radioprotective mechanisms, the substitution of organic molecules with fortified isoforms, the coordination of regenerative and ablative technologies, and methods of slowing metabolic activity while preserving cognitive function. The paper concludes by presenting the known associations between radioresistance and longevity, and articulating the position that enhancing human radioresistance is likely to extend the healthspan of human spacefarers as well.

The roadmap highlights the need to converge and accelerate research in radiobiology, biogerontology and artifical intelligence to enable spacefarers to address both the healthcare challenges that we are already aware of, as well as those that we are not.

Furthermore, given the massive amount of funding allocated to research into facilitating and optimizing space exploration and optimization, the researchers hope to have shown how research into enhancing radioresistance for space exploration could galvanize progress in human healthspan extension, an area of research that is still massively underfunded despite its potential to prevent the massive economic burden posed by the future healthcare costs associated with demographic aging.

Participating institutions: NASA Ames Research Center, Environmental and Radiation Health Sciences Directorate at Health Canada, Oxford University, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, Insilico Medicine, the Biogerontology Research Center, Boston University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Lethbridge, Ghent University, and Center for Healthy Aging.

Citation: Cortese, Franco, Dmitry Klokov, Andreyan Osipov, Jakub Stefaniak, Alexey Moskalev, Jane Schastnaya, Charles Cantor, Alexander Aliper, Polina Mamoshina, Igor Ushakov, Alex Sapetsky, Quentin Vanhaelen, Irina Alchinova, Mikhail Karganov, Olga Kovalchuk, Ruth Wilkins, Andrey Shtemberg, Marjan Moreels, Sarah Baatout, Evgeny Izumchenko, João Pedro De Magalhães, Artem V. Artemov, Sylvain V. Costes, Afshin Beheshti, Xiao Wen Mao, Michael J. Pecaut, Dmitry Kaminskiy, Ivan V. Ozerov, Morten Scheibye-Knudsen, and Alex Zhavoronkov. "Vive la radiorésistance!: converging research in radiobiology and biogerontology to enhance human radioresistance for deep space exploration and colonization." Oncotarget, 2015. doi:10.18632/oncotarget.24461.

Adapted from press release by Biogerontology Research Foundation.
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