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Oncotarget. 2018 Feb 12;9(18):14692-14722. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.24461. eCollection 2018 Mar 6.

Vive la radiorésistance!: converging research in radiobiology and biogerontology to enhance human radioresistance for deep space exploration and colonization.

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Biogerontology Research Foundation, London, UK.
Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, Queen's University School of Medicine, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Chalk River, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Insilico Medicine, Inc., Emerging Technology Centers, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.
State Research Center - Burnasyan Federal Medical Biophysical Center of Federal Medical Biological Agency, Moscow, Russia.
Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Dolgoprudny, Russia.
Nuffield Department of Medicine, Target Discovery Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
Laboratory of Molecular Radiobiology and Gerontology, Institute of Biology of Komi Science Center of Ural Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, Syktyvkar, Russia.
Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.
Boston University, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston, MA, USA.
Laboratory of Bioinformatics, D. Rogachev Federal Medical Research Center of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Immunology, Moscow, Russia.
Computer Science Department, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
Laboratory of Physicochemical and Ecological Pathophysiology, Institute of General Pathology and Pathophysiology, Moscow, Russia.
Research Institute for Space Medicine, Federal Medical Biological Agency, Moscow, Russia.
Canada Cancer and Aging Research Laboratories, Ltd., Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
Environmental and Radiation and Health Sciences Directorate, Health Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Laboratory of Extreme Physiology, Institute of Medical and Biological Problems RAS, Moscow, Russia.
Radiobiology Unit, Interdisciplinary Biosciences, Institute for Environment, Health and Safety, Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, (SCK·CEN), Mol, Belgium.
Department of Molecular Biotechnology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.
The Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Cancer Research, Baltimore, MD, USA.
Integrative Genomics of Ageing Group, Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, USA.
Wyle Laboratories, Space Biosciences Division, NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CA, USA.
Division of Hematology/Oncology, Molecular Oncology Research Institute, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA.
Department of Basic Sciences, Division of Biomedical Engineering Sciences (BMES), Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA, USA.
Deep Knowledge Life Sciences, London, UK.
Center for Healthy Aging, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.


While many efforts have been made to pave the way toward human space colonization, little consideration has been given to the methods of protecting spacefarers against harsh cosmic and local radioactive environments and the high costs associated with protection from the deleterious physiological effects of exposure to high-Linear energy transfer (high-LET) radiation. Herein, we lay the foundations of a roadmap toward enhancing human radioresistance for the purposes of deep space colonization and exploration. We outline future research directions toward the goal of enhancing human radioresistance, including upregulation of endogenous repair and radioprotective mechanisms, possible leeways into gene therapy in order to enhance radioresistance via the translation of exogenous and engineered DNA repair and radioprotective mechanisms, the substitution of organic molecules with fortified isoforms, and methods of slowing metabolic activity while preserving cognitive function. We conclude by presenting the known associations between radioresistance and longevity, and articulating the position that enhancing human radioresistance is likely to extend the healthspan of human spacefarers as well.


DNA damage; Mars mission; longevity; radioresistance; space exploration

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST Ivan V. Ozerov, Jane Schastnaya, Alexander Aliper, Polina Mamoshina, Quentin Vanhaelen, Artem V. Artemov, Alex Zhavoronkov, Alexey Moskalev, Evgeny Izumchenko, Dmitry Kaminskiy, Charles Cantor are associated with Insilico Medicine, Inc, an artificial intelligence company focused on drug discovery and aging research with a number of commercial projects in regenerative medicine, aging research geared towards increasing human radioresistance and longevity.

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