DNA Sequenced In Space Signals Step Forward In Astronaut Medicine

KCBS_740MOFFETT FIELD (KCBS) — Astronauts were able to successfully sequence DNA in space.

When an astronaut gets sick, he or she has got to come back to earth to get diagnosed and treated but UCSF researchers are helping NASA take one more step towards being able to keep those astronauts in space.

Conditions in space aren’t like earth, there’s gravity or a lack of it which means test results here might not be the same there. Now thanks to help from UCSF scientists, NASA was able to successfully sequence DNA in space and it matched the results on earth.

Dr. Charles Chiu is director of the UCSF-Abbot Viral Diagnostics and Discovery Center. He says you can’t just pop a Tylenol in space.

Fever, upper respiratory illnesses, maybe some diarrhea. So, astronauts have gotten sick before, and up until now, there really hasn’t been much that’s been done recently to diagnose them or take care of their illness, and it’s our hope that having a sequencer there will be a way that we can monitor their health,” Chiu said.



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