Long stay in zero gravityleads to health problems - it is a fact. For example, people already know that when flying to Mars, astronauts will be able to experience a wide range of medical problems, including muscle atrophy, calcium deficiency, deterioration of the cardiopulmonary system, impaired vision and even weakening of the immune system. Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Michigan have added to this list another problem - it has been proven that weightlessness destroys joints that cannot be restored even after returning to Earth.
The study was led by the head of the departmentMusculoskeletal Genetics by Jamie Fitzgerald. The team of scientists had at their disposal data collected when six male mice were sent to the Earth orbit inside the Russian BION-M1 unmanned satellite - they were there from April 19 to May 19, 2013. At the time of takeoff, these rodents were from 19 to 20 weeks, and on Earth were the same mice, but kept in conditions of normal gravity.
Analysis of tissue and cartilage showed that the lackGravity already after 30 days caused signs of osteoarthritis in mice. The researchers explained that even if the mice train and perform active movements, their body lacks the load that exists in terrestrial conditions. According to Jamie Fitzgerald, in the conditions of gravity, the stress necessary for maintaining healthy joints can be obtained even with normal walking.
The worst thing is that after returning to Earthcartilage is restored with great difficulty - most likely, astronauts and space tourists will have to experience health problems for a very long time.
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