Science & Tech

Working in space is helping to cure cancer, NASA reveals

Working in space is helping to cure cancer, NASA reveals
Joint Russian-American Space Mission Up to the ISS a Success After Last …
ZMG - Amaze Lab / VideoElephant

NASA believes that working in space is helping with research in the fight against cancer.

According to the NHS, one in two people “will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime” and the fight against the disease is one of the most important areas of scientific study.

NASA has claimed that experiments in the weightless environment of space have resulted in “crazy progress” in cancer research.

Officials from the space agency made the claim at a recent event in Washington with US president Joe Biden. Astronaut Frank Rubio said that space is “a unique place for research”.

Rubio is also a physician and former military helicopter pilot who conducted cancer research on a recent mission onboard the International Space Station (ISS).

It is thought that cells age more rapidly in space which helps to speed up the research, but the structures are also said to be “purer”.

NASA administrator Bill Nelson told AFP: “They all don’t clump together (as they do) on Earth because of gravity. They are suspended in space.”

This allows for more enhanced analysis of the molecular structures of samples.

It is also thought that space research can help make cancer drugs more effective. Thanks to research done by the pharmaceutical giant Merck, conducted on the ISS, Keytruda, an anti-cancer drug will now able to be administered to patients intravenously.

A 2017 experiment found that one of its key ingredients was quicker to form into crystals in space than on Earth, helping experts to research new techniques for making and storing drugs.

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