A hypothesis on biological protection from space radiation through the use of new therapeutic gases

Michael P. Schoenfeld, Rafat R. Ansari, Atsunori Nakao, David Wink

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Radiation exposure to astronauts could be a significant obstacle for long duration manned space exploration because of current uncertainties regarding the extent of biological effects. Furthermore, concepts for protective shielding also pose a technically challenging issue due to the nature of cosmic radiation and current mass and power constraints with modern exploration technology. The concern regarding exposure to cosmic radiation is the biological damage it induces. As damage is associated with increased oxidative stress, it is important and would be enabling to mitigate and/or prevent oxidative stress prior to the development of clinical symptoms and disease. This paper hypothesizes a "systems biology" approach in which a combination of chemical and biological mitigation techniques are used conjunctively. It proposes using new, therapeutic, medical gases as both chemical radioprotectors for radical scavenging and biological signaling molecules for management of the body's response to exposure. From reviewing radiochemistry of water, biological effects of CO, H2, NO, and H2S gas, and mechanisms of radiation biology, it is concluded that this approach may have great therapeutic potential for radiation exposure. Furthermore, it also appears to have similar potential for curtailing the pathogenesis of other diseases in which oxidative stress has been implicated including cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic inflammatory disease, hypertension, ischemia/reperfusion injury, acute respiratory distress syndrome, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, cataracts, and aging.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space 2011, NETS-2011
Pages186-198
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2 2011
Externally publishedYes
EventNuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space 2011, NETS-2011 - Albuquerque, NM, United States
Duration: Feb 7 2011Feb 10 2011

Publication series

NameNuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space 2011, NETS-2011

Other

OtherNuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space 2011, NETS-2011
CountryUnited States
CityAlbuquerque, NM
Period2/7/112/10/11

Keywords

  • Applied electrochemistry
  • Oxidative stress
  • Radiation shielding
  • Radiochemistry
  • Radiolysis
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Space radiation
  • Therapeutic medical gas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Schoenfeld, M. P., Ansari, R. R., Nakao, A., & Wink, D. (2011). A hypothesis on biological protection from space radiation through the use of new therapeutic gases. In Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space 2011, NETS-2011 (pp. 186-198). (Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space 2011, NETS-2011).