Fruit flies reveal new insights into space travel's effect on the heart

Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute have shown that fruit flies that spent several weeks on the International Space Station (ISS)—about half of their lives—experienced profound structural and biochemical changes to their hearts. The study, published today in Cell Reports, suggests that astronauts who spend a lengthy amount of time in space—which would be required for formation of a moon colony or travel to distant Mars—could suffer similar effects and may benefit from protective measures to keep their hearts healthy. The research also revealed new insights that could one day help people on Earth who are on long-term bed rest or living with heart disease.

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