Broadcast 1535 (Special Edition)

27 Mar 2011 Dr. William Rowe
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Guest: Dr. William (Bill) Rowe. Topics; Human spaceflight medicine and applications for terrestrial medicine and our personal lifestyles. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. We welcomes back Dr. William (Bill) Rowe for the third and final part of his three part series addressing space medicine for human spaceflight and how we can benefit from much of this information in our own lives here on Earth. Dr. Rowe referenced many documents found on his website so I urge you to have his site available as you listen to the program. www.femsinspace.com. In addition, here are the direct URLs to the three figures he talked about: Figure 1: www.femsinspace.com/figure1.html; Figure 2: www.femsinspace.com/figure2.html; Figure 3: www.femsinspace.com/figure3.html. During our first segment, Dr. Rowe spent considerable time using Charles Darwin and his work regarding the Galapagos Islands as a model for some of the space medicine discussion for this program. Listen carefully to this discussion as it definitely relates to how we move forward with the interview. Near the end of the first segment, we started talking about artificial gravity, a discussion that carried through to the end of the interview. Dr. Rowe said we needed 1G for longer term spaceflight missions and he talked about the why of that throughout the balance of the discussion, co-mingled with a discussion about nutrition, pharmaceuticals in space, supplements, vitamins, and more. In our second segment, we started out with Dr. Rowe talking about a Vitamin D deficiency and skeletal muscle problems arising humans in space over the longer term. Later in this segment, Dr. Paul Dear called in from the UK to discuss the gene therapy ideas Dr. Rowe discussed in Part 2 of this series. Dr. Dear, who has been a guest on The Space Show several times regarding his N-Prize, works at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, This is the lab where Crick and Watson discovered the DNA double helix, and the lab has about a dozen Nobel prizewinners. He currently leads a research team in genomics (DNA-based research) working on things ranging from cancer to ancient DNA (mammoths). Dr. Dear disagreed that gene therapy would be the way to go for human spaceflight given it was likely far off into the future. He suggested the use of genetic screening which he said was available and affordable at this time. This was an excellent discussion with the two experts coming to agreement. You definitely want to hear this discussion. In the third segment, Dr. Rowe got a call from Tim in Huntsville who brought up some interesting information regarding gravity here on Earth, specifically around the equator, then asking Dr. Rowe about variations of 1G that might be OK in space. Again, don't miss this excellent exchange. Later in this segment, we talked about a series of Dr. Rowe's Letters To The Editor which he pointed out on his webpage and the issue of peer review. Exercise in space was discussed but it remains a difficult task with no really good way of doing it to avoid the complications of being in microgravity. One of Dr. Rowe's concluding comments suggested that with only about 500 people having been in space, the population size to be studied is way too small and any such studies on such a small population may have some significant errors that would have been corrected in a much larger study. Bottom line, we need to see lots more people in space and we need to collect substantially more scientific data. For your comments and questions, please post them on the blog URL above. You can also email Dr. Rowe at drrowe@femsinspace.com.

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