Spaceflight Changes Your Brain Pathways

The International Space Station as it appears in 2018. Zarya is visible at the center of the complex, identifiable by its partially retracted solar arrays. (Credit: NASA)

by Alisson Clark
University of Florida

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (University of Florida PR) — Brain scans of astronauts before and after spaceflight show changes to their white matter in areas that control movement and process sensory information, a University of Florida study shows.

The deterioration was the same type you’d expect to see with aging, but happened over a much shorter period of time. The findings could help explain why some astronauts have balance and coordination problems after returning to Earth, said Rachael Seidler, a professor with UF’s College of Health and Human Performance.

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NSBRI to Fund Testing of Radiation Protectants

nsbri_smalllogoHOUSTON, May 17, 2016 (NASA PR) — Two small companies developing products to protect humans from the damaging effects of radiation exposure have been selected to receive grants from the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI).

Entrinsic Health Solutions, Inc. (EHS), located in Norwood, MA, is an innovative health sciences company dedicated to the development and commercialization of amino acid based medical foods to address critical digestive health, nutrition and hydration related health issues. The Company is involved in several on-going clinical trials designed to test the efficacy of their proprietary Amino Acid Coupled Transport (A₂CT) Technology for oncology and digestive health applications.

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NASA, NSBRI Select Proposals to Support Astronaut Health on Long Duration Missions

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko marked their 300th consecutive day aboard the International Space Station on Jan. 21, 2016. The pair will land March 1 after spending a total of 340 days in space. (Credits: NASA)
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko marked their 300th consecutive day aboard the International Space Station on Jan. 21, 2016. The pair will land March 1 after spending a total of 340 days in space. (Credits: NASA)

WASHINGTON, DC (NASA PR) — NASA’s Human Research Program and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) will fund 27 proposals to help answer questions about astronaut health and performance during future long duration missions beyond low Earth orbit.  The selected proposals will investigate the impact of the space environment on various aspects of astronaut health, including visual impairment, behavioral health and performance, bone and muscle loss, cardiovascular alterations, human factors and performance, sensorimotor adaptation and the development and application of smart medical systems and technologies. All of the selected projects will contribute towards NASA’s long-term plans, such as those planned for the journey to Mars.
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NSBRI Seeks Countermeasures to Address Risk to Humans in Space

nsbri_smalllogoHOUSTON (NSBRI PR) — Small U.S.-based companies developing countermeasures to protect healthy tissue from the effects of radiation exposures may be eligible for a unique funding opportunity offered through the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI). NSBRI’s Industry Forum is soliciting applications for its Space Medical and Related Technologies Commercialization Assistance Program (SMARTCAP). SMARTCAP grants are used to accelerate the development of products meeting a need on Earth as well as in space.

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Draper Software Could Warn Astronauts of Performance Issues

NSBRI metrics and methods simulator. (Credit: Draper Laboratory)
NSBRI metrics and methods simulator. (Credit: Draper Laboratory)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Draper Laboratory PR) – Many automobiles today alert the driver if they are drifting from one lane into another, or if they are nearing a potential collision with another vehicle. Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) have few of these types of alerts as they manually capture spacecraft docking to deliver supplies or crew, as was the case when the Japanese HTV arrived on Aug. 23. They even lack many of the cues that automobile drivers experience as they pull into a parking space, such as feeling the resistance of the curb, or the lines on a dashboard camera.

Draper, working under contract to the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI), will develop software that provides astronauts with helpful alerts in real time. By monitoring the way human operators interact with space systems, the alert software could also recognize when an astronaut is overwhelmed and suggest offloading certain tasks to other personnel or suggest re-allocating tasks between the human and the computer.

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NSBRI Offers Space Biomedical Funding Opportunity for Small Companies

nsbri_forum_logoHOUSTON (NSBRI PR) — Administering health care in space demands innovative biomedical solutions. Small companies developing products that can be modified for use in space may be eligible for a unique funding opportunity offered through the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI).

NSBRI’s Industry Forum is soliciting applications for its Space Medical and Related Technologies Commercialization Assistance Program (SMARTCAP). SMARTCAP grants are used to accelerate the development of products meeting a need on Earth as well as in space. Current priorities include non-invasive approaches to assess brain and ocular health, diagnostic and therapeutic devices using ultrasound and other non-invasive modalities, and miniaturized mass spectrometry solutions.

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NSBRI Launches New Funding Opportunity for Small Space Biomedical Companies

nsbri_forum_logoHOUSTON, Texas (NSBRI PR) — The NSBRI Industry Forum today announced a new funding opportunity for small U.S. companies with biomedical products that hold promise for use in space.

The NSBRI Industry Forum has initiated a new grant funding program for small, U.S.-based companies who are in, or have graduated from, business accelerators.  NSBRI is partnering with prominent business accelerators in the biotechnology, health and health-IT sectors to identify the best and brightest candidates for the program, which seeks innovative solutions to the health care challenges inherent to spaceflight. Companies, in partnership with sponsoring accelerators, can submit applications for the SMARTCAP-Accel program from June 11, 2013 through July 22, 2013, online at www.smartcap.org.

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SMARTCAP Award to Commercialize Space Medicine Product

HOUSTON (NSBRI PR) — Do you know of a small company developing a medical product that could be adapted to solve a health or human performance challenge in space? Have you developed a biomedical product for the space program that could also improve health on Earth?

The National Space Biomedical Research Institute’s Industry Forum is soliciting applications for the Space Medicine and Related Technologies Commercialization Assistance Program (SMARTCAP) award that provides support in moving a selected product toward commercialization. The 2013 SMARTCAP award will be for a maximum of $250,000 for a one-year period.

The deadline for submitting Stage-1 applications for this competitive two-stage proposal process is Nov. 5, 2012. Submission guidelines and more information about SMARTCAP are located at www.smartcap.org.

Mars500: U.S. studies focus on improving work performance

mars500crew

NSBRI PRESS RELEASE

From March 31 to July 14, a six-man international crew called an isolation chamber in Moscow their home. The crew, composed of four Russians and two Europeans, simulated a 105-day Mars mission full of experiments and realistic mission scenarios, including emergency situations and 20-minute communications delays.

U.S. participation in the mission consisted of three research teams with experiments evaluating solutions to conditions that impact work performance. The projects evaluated lighting interventions to counter sleep disruption due to shift work or long hours, tested two objective methods of measuring the impact of stress and fatigue on performance, and assessed interactions between crew members and mission control. The three projects were funded by the Houston-based National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI).

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