Google+

Space Travel Slows Down Aging

In space they can barely see you age, at least if you’re a worm.

Tiny, transparent nematodes that spent 11 days on the International Space Station — the equivalent of about 16 years for a person — appeared to age much more slowly than earthbound worms, Yoko Honda of the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology and colleagues report online July 5 inScientific Reports.

The result is the opposite of what some scientists expected, based on experience with human spaceflight and studies of other animals. Mammals, including people, in the microgravity of space are under physiological stress, says D. Marshall Porterfield, director of NASA’s Space Life and Physical Sciences Research and Applications Division in Greenbelt, Md. In low gravity, muscles atrophy and aging accelerates.

While the space station worms, from the species Caenorhabditis elegans, may have been under stress, they didn’t have those side effects. Their muscles did not degrade, and clumps of aging-related proteins known as Q35 aggregates did not build up in them as much as in worms on the ground, indicating that worms don’t age as fast in space as on Earth. Worms that visited the space station were frozen immediately after returning to Earth, so the researchers weren’t able to test whether time in space enabled the critters to live longer.

The researchers also discovered that relative to ground-based nematodes, the space-faring worms had lower activity of 199 genes, including 11 genes involved in transmitting information through the nervous or endocrine systems. For seven of the 11 genes, mutations that lowered the genes’ activity also caused ground-based worms in a separate experiment to live longer.

Reduced activity of three of the life-extending genes — called gar-3,cha-1 and shk-1 — also lowered the number of Q35 clumps that built up in aging worms. Those genes encode proteins that are produced in the nervous system, and two of them also encode proteins that are made in muscles.

Lowering the levels of those proteins during spaceflight might affect how worms perceive their environment, leading the nematodes to reduce their metabolism and extend their life spans, says Catharine Conley, NASA’s planetary protection officer. Conley helped develop the substance that worms grow in while in space.

Studying worms in space may help scientists learn more about how low gravity affects organisms, regardless of the impact on life span, Porterfield says. “It doesn’t really matter what the outcome is if we learn about the biophysical environment,” he says. That knowledge may help engineers design ways of better protecting the health of astronauts.

Source: Science News / Tina Hesman Saey/ Photo Credit: Richard Morimoto/Northwestern Univ.

Entertainment

Dax Shepard and Michael Pena Co-Star in Raunchy Revival of Classic Cop Series

  Chips Film Review by Kam Williams Dax Shepard and Michael Pena Co-Star in Raunchy Revival of Classic Cop Series Whenever a classic television series is made into a movie, the buzz always seems to be about whether the screen version will be a creative variation on the theme or merely a campy, cornball, take-the-money-and-run ripoff trading in familiar formulas and shopworn cliches. After all, for every inspired adaptation like Batman … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

The President’s Kitchen Cabinet

  The President's Kitchen Cabinet The Story of the African-Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas by Adrian Miller University of North Carolina Press Hardcover, $30.00 292 pages, Illustrated ISBN: 978-1-4696-3253-7 Book Review by Kam Williams “[This opus] vividly tells the stories of the African-Americans who worked in the presidential food service as chefs, personal cooks, butlers, stewards … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder

  History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder by Amy Lignor   For the longest time, scientists and archaeologists have been confused and bemused by various discoveries they’ve unearthed that offer little or no explanation as to the who, what, and why of the people who created these things or left them behind. Even now, in 2017, there are discoveries being studied; stories that were once legends now have actual bits of proof being found that … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

2017 Hobbies That Bring You Serenity

  2017 Hobbies That Bring You Serenity by Amy Lignor   Origami. Memory albums. Quilting. What do these have in common? Well, at one point or another in time, they have represented the “hottest” hobbies in the United States. Taking up hobbies are not only a fun thing to do for the “artistic/creative” type, but they also help to reduce stress. Even the AMA has cited the fact that taking up a hobby can produce a calming environment … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

The Versatile Ballyhoo

  The Versatile Ballyhoo By Capt. Gus Cane When targeting reef and offshore gamefish, the versatile ballyhoo is an excellent bait choice. Fished whole or cut into chunks, ballyhoo will entice everything from snapper to dolphin to blue marlin. It’s readily available, either live or frozen, and can be rigged in a variety of ways. Although common in subtropical waters around the globe, the Florida Keys is where ballyhoo first made an … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

Will NASCAR Theatrics Bring Back Viewers?

  Will NASCAR Theatrics Bring Back Viewers? by Amy Lignor   For any of the millions who once watched ABC’s Wide World of Sports and heard the words “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat,” they remember the footage of a skier’s crash when it came to the “agony” side of things. Everyone knew that sight was a fact – a video that was absolutely real. Nowadays, however, it seems that more and more sports are “making up” shots that … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

How Are Retail Sales in 2017?

  How Are Retail Sales in 2017? E-Commerce Reigns by Amy Lignor   Despite consumer uncertainty, as well as a very sluggish beginning to 2017, the U.S. retail sales industry is projected to increase 4% this year. Headlines show that many retailers and companies posted “soft” holiday sales to end 2016, which caused some notable retailers to either cut jobs or close stores as a result. However, when it comes to 2017, the National … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Where to Vacation? Go Big or Stay Home!

  Where to Vacation? Go Big or Stay Home! by Amy Lignor   We speak about luxury vacations, budget vacations, vacations that are fun for the kids, and many more areas of travel at this time of year. But there is also a category that many do not touch upon because they “assume” it is far too difficult for those on a budget to be able to enjoy these jaw-dropping wonders. However, whether you are a backpacker looking to “become a … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden

  Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden by Amy Lignor   Many are still dealing with that wintery mix Mother Nature just loves to toss down from the sky this time of year. Yet, that gardener living inside the soul – the one just dreaming of the sunny skies and lazy rainy days that are must-haves in order to grow the best vegetables possible – is already jotting down the facts, tricks and tips they need to know in order to make that … [Read More its Good for You...]