Real versus simulated galactic cosmic radiation for investigating cancer risk in the hematopoietic system - are we comparing apples to apples?

Christine Mehner, Sunil Krishnan, Joshua Chou, Michelle L. Freeman, William D. Freeman, Tushar Patel, Marion T. Turnbull

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Deep space exploration missions need strategies to mitigate the potentially harmful exposure to galactic cosmic radiation. This form of radiation can cause significant damage to biological systems and organisms, which include radiation-induced carcinogenesis in the hematopoietic system. Ongoing studies investigate these effects using cell- and animal-based studies in low earth orbit. The logistic challenges and costs involved with sending biological specimens to space have prompted the development of surrogate ground-based radiation experiments to study the mechanisms of biological injury and cancer risk. However, simulating galactic cosmic radiation has proven difficult and current studies are only partially succeeding at replicating the complexity of this radiation and its downstream injury pathways. Accurate simulation of chronic, low dose galactic radiation will improve our ability to test mitigation strategies such as drug development and improved shielding materials that could be crucial and essential for successful space exploration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-14
Number of pages7
JournalLife Sciences in Space Research
Volume29
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Ecology
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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