Chernobyl fungus could shield astronauts from cosmic radiation

A recent study tested how well the fungi species Cladosporium sphaerospermum blocked cosmic radiation aboard the International Space Station.

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  • Radiation is one of the biggest threats to astronauts' safety during long-term missions.
  • C. sphaerospermum is known to thrive in high-radiation environments through a process called radiosynthesis.
  • The results of the study suggest that a thin layer of the fungus could serve as an effective shield against cosmic radiation for astronauts.
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Long spaceflights change astronauts' brain structure, new study suggests

The changes in brain structure aren't the only bodily changes caused by zero gravity.

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  • A new study finds that long term weightlessness can cause changes in brain structure, with an increase in white matter lasting a year after returning to Earth.
  • The researchers believe it to be caused by an increase in fluid pressure on the brain.
  • Potential solutions include creating artificial gravity.
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Want to be an astronaut? NASA is hiring!

Here's a look at the space agency's astronaut candidate requirements.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash
  • NASA has begun accepting applications for its next class of astronauts and plans to have its final selections for candidates in mid-2021.
  • U.S. citizens have until March 31, 2020 to apply.
  • Basic qualifications include either holding a master's degree in a STEM field, having completed a doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathic medicine degree, or have two years of work toward a STEM Ph.D. program.
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What NASA learned by sending a 77-year-old astronaut into space

When you have the opportunity to take gravity away from the human body, the results are pretty fasninating.

Space may be the final frontier, but it's really interesting what it does to our bodies. Scientists are studying the effects of space on the body, says former astronaut and current physician Scott Parazynski. The results are pretty fascinating, especially when you have the opportunity to take gravity out of the equation. Scott Parazynski is the author of The Sky Below: A True Story of Summits, Space, and Speed.

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