Zebrafish can protect themselves against harsh conditions in an induced hibernating state. Prolonged periods of time in space are punishing on the human body. Astronauts who have endured space flights have all experienced negative effects from the journey; from loss of body mass and muscles to the redistribution of bodily fluids to the head, which puts pressure on the eyes causing vision problems. Higher levels of radiation in space can also damage the heart, cause arteries to narrow or harden, and eventually heart disease. So, how can humans survive the 480 million km journey to the Red Planet without them potentially dying, or at the very least, permanently injuring themselves? A team of scientists at Queen’s University Belfast believes they have the answer thanks to a pet shop favourite – zebrafish. Similar sleeping patterns "NASA plans to return to the Moon and onward to Mars in the coming years," said Professor Gary Hardiman, a researcher from the Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS) at Queen’s and the senior author of a new study published in the journal MDPI Cells. "Recent technological advancements have made space travel more accessible, however, long-term space travel is incredibly detrimental to human health". Extensive […]

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