Space travel inhibit the body's immune cells

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Offline sunnye

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Space travel inhibit the body's immune cells
« on: 03/12/2008 00:35:24 »
Space travel inhibit the body's immune cells

San Francisco scientists say they've determined why astronauts become sick so easily: weightlessness in space prevents some immunity genes from working.

The changes affect the activation of T-cells, a type of white blood cell that helps defend the body against disease, reported. Other than weightlessness, the only other situation that severely diminishes T-cell function is HIV infection.

Millie Hughes-Fulford, a medical professor at the University of California-San Francisco, and colleagues subjected human immune (Edited to remove URL) cells to a device that simulates microgravity. The researchers found 91 of 99 genes that activate T-cells to destroy invaders, such as viruses, did not turn on in the simulated microgravity, said.

"There is a specific signal pathway that is not working in the absence of gravity," says Hughes-Fulford. "You're short-circuiting a whole lot of the immune response -- namely, the ability to proliferate T-cells -- which shouldn't be a surprise, because life evolved in Earth's gravity field."
« Last Edit: 03/12/2008 01:08:30 by JimBob »