WASHINGTON (TIP): Researchers have developed a new spacesuit for astronauts which presses down on its wearer to keep their bones in good health. Researchers at the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) in Germany have designed the new type of suit, called Skinsuit, in order to keep astronauts’ posture in check. Simon Evetts, the lead of the Medical Projects and Technology Team at EAC, said that the Skinsuit exerts force on its wearer from the shoulders towards the feet. “It looks like a tight-fitting Lycra suit you might find at Olympic swimming pools,” he told ‘ABC News’.

“They’re individually tailored, so that the right amount of force is provided to each astronaut,” he said. The technology simulates the force an astronaut feels on Earth to keep their skeletons healthy. “When we’re on Earth and we walk or run, we put weight on our bones that cause the different cellular processes to signal bone formation to occur,” said International Space Station engineer Mamta Nagaraja. “Without gravity, there’s an imbalance between (bone) formation and resorption, so astronauts lose up to 3% of their bone mass per month,” she said. “We see the greatest bone loss in the hip, wrist and spine. It’s worth trying these types of research-based efforts to counteract bone loss,” she said. Evetts said the suit could even be used for patients in longterm hospital care.

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Volume 4 Issue 41 | Dallas | Oct 21

Print Edition ~ Digitally   Issue 41 ~ Dallas ~ Oct 21  
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