Feeds

ISS astronauts lose 'alarming' amounts of hipbone strength

Help! I've fallen and I can't get geosynchronous!

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Humanity's conquest of the stars may never arrive by the jaunty strides of a Flash Gordon or Dan Dare. Alas, Earth's future finest will likely hobble out the pod bay door on feeble old-lady hips.

My dream of Mae West in space is ruined!

Spending extended time in microgravity has long been known to cause a loss in bone density. But a new study by researchers from Universities of California at Irvine and San Francisco suggests the deterioration may be worse than previously thought.

The research evaluated 13 astronauts who had spent four to six months at the International Space Station.

On average, astronauts' hipbone strength decreased an "alarming" 14 per cent, the study reports. Three of the astronauts lost as much as 20 to 30 per cent of their bone strength during space flight, putting them on par with elderly women with osteoporosis.

"If preventative measures are not taken, some of our astronauts may be at increased risk for age-related fractures decades after their missions," said study leader Joyce Keyak.

The research differs from previous studies by specifically looking at bone strength rather than bone-mineral density. Based on 12 male and 1 female ISS crew members, decreases in bone strength measured from 0.6 per cent to 5 per cent for each month aboard the ISS - considerably more than the loss of bone-mineral density of 0.4 per cent to 1.8 per cent observed in previous studies of the same subjects.

According to researchers, the hip experiences the greatest rate of bone loss in space and fractures almost always require hospitalization and surgery.

The NASA-funded study appears in the online version of the trade journal Bone - a publication that we're sure gets a lot of late-night traffic from highly disappointed internet users. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.