NASA seems to be revolutionizing humanity’s understanding of Parkinson’s disease with ground-breaking research on board of the ISS.
This terrible disease affects more than 5 million people around the globe and while experts do understand the cause of the disease, finding a cure for this chronic health problem was impossible so far.
Now, the NASA astronauts on the ISS are offering some new insight into Parkinson’s which is without precedent.
Express.co.uk notes that NASA showcases some of the research that has been taking place on the ISS with a brand new video in which NASA astronaut Serena Auñon-Chancellor explains how studying the protein crystals which see promoted growth in Parkinson’s patients can help scientists discover how to stop it.
Finding a way to inhibit crystals
It seems that examining the crystals in space is helpful for researchers because the low-gravity environment on the ISS allows these crystals to grow larger.
This reveals some particularities in the structure of these crystals which NASA hopes that hold the key to develop a strategy to inhibit them.
A NASA spokesperson said: “Without knowing the precise structure of these crystals, such work is like making a key without knowing the shape of the keyhole it must fit. Growing LRRK2 crystals on Earth is difficult and does not produce samples with high enough quality for researchers to determine the protein’s shape and structure – the keyhole.”
The spokesperson continued and explained that “Protein crystals grow larger and more uniformly in space, though. Scientists can analyze the larger space-grown crystals to get a better idea of how the disease works and develop drugs – or keys – that target the condition more effectively and with fewer side effects.”
What the ISS astronomers are doing is impressive and it will hopefully bring some great results.
The ISS has been in the news recently again after India destroyed one of its satellites and the debris created is now posing a considerable threat for the ISS.
I have been blogging and posting articles for over eight years, but my passion for writing dates back in 2000. I am especially enthusiastic about technology, science, and health-related issues. When I’m not researching and writing the latest news, I’m either watching sci-fi and horror movies or checking out places worth visiting and building deep memories for later in life. I believe in empathy and continually improving myself.