Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Life Sci Space Res (Amst). 2016 Nov;11:1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.lssr.2016.09.001. Epub 2016 Sep 13.

Hibernation for space travel: Impact on radioprotection.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, University of Bologna, Piazza di Porta S.Donato 2, 40126 Bologna, Italy; National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN), Section of Bologna, Viale Berti Pichat 6/2, 40127 Bologna, Italy.
2
National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN), Trento Institute for Fundamental Physics and Applications (TIFPA), Via Sommarive 14, 38123 Trento, Italy.
3
National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN), Section of Bologna, Viale Berti Pichat 6/2, 40127 Bologna, Italy.
4
National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN), Trento Institute for Fundamental Physics and Applications (TIFPA), Via Sommarive 14, 38123 Trento, Italy; Department of Physics, University of Trento, Via Sommarive 14, 38123 Trento, Italy.
5
National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN), Section of Bologna, Viale Berti Pichat 6/2, 40127 Bologna, Italy ; Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Bologna, Viale Berti Pichat 6/2, 40127 Bologna, Italy.
6
National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN), Trento Institute for Fundamental Physics and Applications (TIFPA), Via Sommarive 14, 38123 Trento, Italy. Electronic address: marco.durante@tifpa.infn.it.

Abstract

Hibernation is a state of reduced metabolic activity used by some animals to survive in harsh environmental conditions. The idea of exploiting hibernation for space exploration has been proposed many years ago, but in recent years it is becoming more realistic, thanks to the introduction of specific methods to induce hibernation-like conditions (synthetic torpor) in non-hibernating animals. In addition to the expected advantages in long-term exploratory-class missions in terms of resource consumptions, aging, and psychology, hibernation may provide protection from cosmic radiation damage to the crew. Data from over half century ago in animal models suggest indeed that radiation effects are reduced during hibernation. We will review the mechanisms of increased radioprotection in hibernation, and discuss possible impact on human space exploration.

KEYWORDS:

Hibernation; Radioprotection; Space exploration; Space radiation; Torpor

PMID:
27993187
DOI:
10.1016/j.lssr.2016.09.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center