The study on osteoporosis is in orbit with Paolo Nespoli

August 7th, 2017 - There is also the blood of Mauro Maccarrone, Professor of Biochemistry ofUniversità Campus Bio-Medico di Roma, on the Expedition 53 spacecraft which will depart on August 13 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, to reach the space mission that has already taken off from the Russian base of Baikonur in the direction of the International Space Station. It will then reach theastronaut Nespoli also a special machine equipped with eight containers with blood samples, various compounds and all the technology necessary to investigate how micro-gravity modifies the characteristics of human bone cells.

This is the SERISM project, one of the eleven Italian experiments traveling with the VITA mission - whose objective is precisely the study of biological sciences in orbit - conducted byUniversità Campus Bio-Medico di Roma in collaboration with the 'University of Tor Vergata and that of Teramo, Besides NASA ed ESA. As explained by Prof. macarrone, principal investigator of the project, "the primary purpose of the experiment is to face the problem of the weakening of the human skeletal system in an innovative way". An issue that primarily affects astronauts, whose bones, after a few months in the absence of gravity, lose bone density significantly.

However, the research will not be limited to astronauts but will also aim to find new possibilities to combat theOsteoporosis: that process which, partly due to the decrease in limb movement stimuli, partly due to problems in the functioning of particular regulatory molecules, the "endocannabinoids", generates a lack of bone 'material' in the skeletal system after the age of 50. The idea is to identify the "signals" responsible for bone weakening, the endocannabinoids, and exploit them in space - as never before - to better understand the mechanism of the pathology.

>> Read more about the SERISM project