Will doctors succeed in protecting astronauts and the elderly from muscular dystrophy? Will doctors succeed in protecting astronauts and the elderly from muscular dystrophy?

Will doctors succeed in protecting astronauts and the elderly from muscular dystrophy?

Will doctors succeed in protecting astronauts and the elderly from muscular dystrophy?

Air travel isn't always easy, let alone space travel. Astronauts often suffer from weak bones and muscle wasting during the months they live in zero gravity in space, and people on Earth also suffer from bone fragility and muscle weakness as they age, which increases their risks. For injuries when falling.

A study conducted in 2022 on osteoporosis in 17 astronauts who traveled aboard the International Space Station, on missions lasting between 4 to 7 months, indicated that the astronauts suffered from the loss of “important masses of bone” during Space flights lasted 6 months, and the study showed that the astronauts lost 2.1% of mineral density (such as calcium) in one of the bones of the lower leg, and bone strength decreased by 1.3%.

Doctors are working to discover how to reduce muscle wasting, a condition that space explorers are exposed to, as well as the elderly on planet Earth.

Researchers at the University of Central Florida in Orlando have received funding from the state to collaborate with the biotechnology company Vaxinity, in order to develop vaccines that can prevent and alleviate muscle and bone weakness, which is a common health problem for people who experience long-term space travel. In addition to the elderly.

Research aims to produce a vaccine that can help reduce muscle atrophy, or help restore muscle mass in the event of injury, inability to move, or when traveling in space.

The vaccine could help people living on Earth, or on space travel, lead better and healthier lives, according to Dr. Melanie Kuthup and Dr. Michal Masternack, professors who worked at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine and participated in the study. In joint research.


Take more trips
Lou Rees, co-founder and CEO of Vaxinity, explains that if all goes well, clinical trials (on humans) of vaccines on humans could begin as early as 2025.

A vaccine that helps stop or limit the deterioration of bones and muscles could also help enable more space exploration trips.

Dr. Kuthub says that the vaccine “opens up a whole new opportunity to think, to strive to reach a type of solution that can be presented, and to try to learn as well, because what happens in this extreme environment (space) is different from what happens on Earth.”

While Dr. Masternak says that the US Space Agency (NASA) intends to send astronauts again on a mission to the moon in 2025, and if the United States wants to send space missions to longer distances such as Mars, finding ways to reduce Deterioration of bones and muscles will be a key issue in reducing some of the health problems associated with spaceflight.

Kuthob confirms that "there is a lot of interest, on the part of many people, working in this sector to develop new discoveries that can give a health boost to astronauts and also to the inhabitants of Earth."

NASA data indicates that astronauts exercise for two hours a day on average, to reduce the deterioration of bones and muscles resulting from lack of gravity, and it says that without these exercises, astronauts will not be able to walk or stand when they return to Earth after Months pass.



What is the role of artificial intelligence in immunotherapy?

Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic in the US and IBM have published a strategy to identify new targets for immunotherapy using artificial intelligence.

This is the first study to be reviewed by industry specialists, within the framework of the Discovery Accelerator partnership between these two leading institutions, which is designed to advance healthcare and life sciences research.

Molecular properties of peptide antigens
The team members collaborated together to develop artificial intelligence with the aim of detecting the molecular characteristics of peptide antigens, which are small pieces of protein molecules that immune cells use to identify threats, including cancer cells.

The project members come from a diverse group led by Dr. Timothy Chan of the Cleveland Clinic, along with Dr. Jeff Weber, a senior research scientist at IBM, and Dr. Wendy Cornell, director and strategy leader of the Healthcare and Life Sciences Accelerator of Scientific Discovery project. .

“In the past, all of our data on cancer antigen targets has come from trial and error,” said Dr. Chan, head of the Center for Normal and Micro-Malignant Immunotherapy. “Now the partnership with IBM allows us to push the boundaries of artificial intelligence and science research.” "Life is about changing the way we develop and evaluate cancer treatment targets."

Scientists have investigated for decades how antigens can be identified and used to target cancer cells or cells infected with viruses. This task has always been difficult because peptide antigens interact with immune cells based on some specific characteristics found on the surface of the cells, a process that is not yet fully understood.

Research in this context has been limited due to the large number of variables that affect the way immune systems recognize these targets. Determining these variables is a difficult and time-consuming process using regular computing, so current models are limited and may sometimes be inaccurate.

Accurate perception
The study was published in the journal Briefings in Bioinformatics and concluded that artificial intelligence models, which take into account changes in molecular shape over time, can provide an accurate picture of how immune systems recognize a target antigen. . Through these models, researchers can identify important actions to target with immunotherapy methods, such as vaccines and engineered immune cells.

Researchers could incorporate this information into other AI models in the future to identify more effective immunotherapy targets.
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