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Cosmic radiation may leave astronauts with long-term cases of ‘space brain’

It’s well-known that radiation can damage neural tissue and hurt cognitive function; cancer patients with brain tumors who need radiotherapy end up with what the study authors called “severe and progressive cognitive deficits.” But it’s not clear exactly what effect space radiation has on the brain because there are different types of radiation and they’re delivered in different doses.


UC Irvine's Charles Limoli, a professor of radiation oncology, has been subjecting mice and rats to the type of radiation astronauts would be exposed to on long-term missions. (Steve Zylius / UC Irvine)

Stashed in: Awesome, Space!, Mars Humans, Mental Health

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"Space is filled with high-energy particles of all kinds that quickly would damage the cells of living things. Luckily, the Earth’s magnetic field shields us from the onslaught; but farther out in space, with only a spacecraft as protection, humans are exposed to much more radiation.

The Obama administration has set a goal of getting humans to Mars by the mid-2030s, and so scientists are increasingly trying to quantify those impacts, with hopes of understanding the risks to long-term spaceflight, and perhaps mitigating or even preventing them."

At first I mistook the professor for "a guy with space brain"

He does have a spaced out look to him.

The article was modified sometime after I stashed it in early morning. Dr. Limoli's photo moved to inside. New cover photo: 


Much better. 

I wonder if he had to say something.  He now understands a little something about the *stigma* of Space Brain.  Imagine if they had left that up, and then any time anyone Googles "space brain", you get this poor guy's picture. 

Yeah, that probably had something to do with it. It's an otherwise pleasant picture.

No one wants to be the face of space brain. 

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