Liver damage in mice after 2-week orbit
MICE that spent just two weeks in orbit showed early signs of liver damage upon returning to Earth, raising concerns about the health impact of lengthy space flights on humans, researchers said on Wednesday.
In this study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, the mice spent 131/2 days on a space shuttle in 2011.
Researchers found that the space flight triggered cells that may cause scarring and long-term organ damage.
The mice showed increased fat storage in their livers; their ability to break down fats was altered; and they had signs of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which can be harmful.
Nasa is planning deep space missions and recently sent veteran astronaut Scott Kelly on a 340-day stay at the International Space Station.