Broadcast 2241 (Special Edition)

09 May 2014 Dr. John Jurist
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Guest: Dr. John Jurist. Topics: Space program related medical & biotechnical advances, spinoffs, human spaceflight. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See For those listening to archives using and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience. We welcomed back Dr. John Jurist to discuss some space program related medical and biotechnical advancements to illustrate some of the benefits and importance of human spaceflight. Listeners also asked him about radiation and one listener in particular answered my question as to why so many space advocates & enthusiasts dismiss the human factors when planning their versions of a humans to the Moon or Mars mission. During the first segment of our 90 minute discussion, Dr. Jurist talked about the former astronaut Deke Slayton's experience with NASA and spaceflight during NASA's early days when it was discovered that Deke had atrial fibrillation (afib) regarding his heart rate. Given that I've made it public that afib was the reason for my medical leave of absence plus I talked on air about my cardiac ablation procedure at UCSF Medical Center, it seemed appropriate for Dr. Jurist to open with that topic. Dr. Jurist showed how Deke's afib experience was in many ways, with NASA research, the root of biotechnology and patient monitoring, wireless monitoring, and even the early days of afib research. He talked about early space and aviation companies making the monitoring devices for the patient & medical public though this is hardly ever mentioned when talking about NASA spinoffs. Listeners and I asked lots of questions about these advancements coming from sources other than NASA had NASA not been around. Would we have had them anyway and around the same time? Don't miss what Dr. Jurist had to say in response to this line of questioning. Dr. Jurist also spoke about bone density issues and osteoporosis analysis and mitigation devices and drugs, many of which have been tested and used in space. Also, aerospace companies made the initial hardware used for bone density analysis. Other human factors issues came up and were discussed including vision problems such as a higher incidence of cataracts for astronauts, plus issues probably resulting from fluid shifts in the eye due to microgravity. John talked about the use of ablation procedures throughout the medical profession and Holter Monitoring for cardiac issues. He also noted that early bone monitoring was developed by lunar related companies. Our guest was asked just how important the medical advancements are to HSF and he said very important but they have been undersold to policy makers and the public. They are also complicated to explain and understand. Radiation was discussed and turned out to be a significant part of the discussion in Part 2 of our program. Toward the end of the segment, I asked why so many space enthusiasts seem to dismiss the human factors. Fortunately, B.John in Sweden provided what I think was an excellent answer to the question which we took it up in the second segment. However, his note said the following: "About 500 humans have been to space. No increase of radiation related health effects have been observed. No one have died in space, only during starting and landing. And that's because of technical malfunctions with catastrophic explosions. That's why most listeners think that Dr. Jurist grotesquely over estimate the imagined hazards of space flight. There exists no data at all to support his pessimistic claims." While I disagree with his analysis and conclusions, I do think his reasoning is held by many and it does go a long way to explain why so often the human factors issues are dismissed by some in the greater advocacy community. Before the segment ended, I asked John to talk about the April 4, 2014 presentation at Rocky Mtn College by Walt Cunningham. The video of Walt's talk is on our Space Show Vimeo channel and the audio is now archived on our website and blog. In the second segment, Dave Ketchledge called to speak to the radiation issue as Dave was part of the nuclear Navy and worked in the nuclear power plan industry for years. He had much to say about the radiation risks that debunked B.John's comments. Both he and Dr. Jurist spoke to beta and alpha particles, some shielding material ideas, & changes in the radiation standards used by NASA. Later, Dr. Jurist responded to a question about space being engineering driven with the medical issues not always receiving the top priority in architecture development and mission design. B.John sent us additional emails regarding radiation, supporting art. gravity, and suggesting why NASA does not want to do HSF. Don't miss our responses to B.John's emails though I said again I thought his explanation to my initial question was on the mark. In his summary, Dr. Jurist suggested the bio medical field received important benefits from our early and ongoing space program. He also said going to Mars, the Moon, or an asteroid would most likely produce huge benefits and medical advancements, and that should be reason enough to have a robust human spaceflight program. Please post comments/questions on The Space Show blog above. You can reach Dr. Jurist through me.



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