Broadcast 1351 (Special Edition)

25 Apr 2010 Dr. Bill Rowe
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Guest: Dr. Bill Rowe. Topics: Long duration spaceflight human factors, gene modification. Dr. Bill Rowe returned for this Space Show program to discuss the concept of gene modification to permit humans to successfully engage in long duration spaceflight. Visit Dr. Rowe's website, www.femsinspace.com. In addition, two of the research papers Dr. Rowe mentions on the show can be found at these addresses: http://eurheartjsupp.oxfordjournals.org/content/4/suppl_A/A8.full.pdf and http://content.karger.com/ProdukteDB/produkte.asp?Aktion=ShowFulltext&Ar.... In our first segment, Dr. Rowe put forth his thesis regarding long duration human spaceflight and some of the problems resulting from it that work against humans successfully engaging in this activity short of adapting to the environment. During this segment, Dr. Rowe outlines the issues and the problems and then sets the stage for the discussion potential solutions, specifically gene modification. This first segment is the foundation for this discussion. As we started the second segment, Bill summarized the magnesium deficiency and what it means and then identified four genes that might be the targets for modification. These four genes are ANP and N.O. regarding two vessel dilators and clot busters, Vessel Growth Factor (V.E.G.F), and Erythropoietin which builds up the blood supply. During this discussion, Dr. Rowe provides a detailed explanation of these genes and what they do and the reason why he believes these should be targeted for modification in human spaceflight. Dr. Rowe was asked questions about animal genetic research and its application to human genetic research, radiation, and ethical issues around human genetic research. He mentioned viruses being the most common vectors for genetic research but said the research was very much in its infancy. In the third segment, Dr. Rowe continued discussing the pharmaceutical problems when used in space and he was then asked about publications in the journals on these subjects. Our guest described the publication process as a political issue with lots of fear surrounding the publication of articles on this and related subjects. Later in the segment, the issue of cardiac atrophy came up in a question and G-force acceleration for people beyond age 30. You do not want to miss this discussion. Visit Dr. Rowe's website and if you have questions or comments for him, please send them to RoweRun@aol.com.

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