Prof. Dr. Sarah Baatout
Influence of stress factors in space on the immune system
In view of the extended duration missions (e.g. to Mars), there is a need to develop safe and effective countermeasures to prevent, mitigate and/or treat the harmful consequences of space environments. Several stress factors in space, where there is no gravitational pull, atmospheric pressure or protection from radiation pose problems to the functioning of the immune system that is not designed to function outside the Earth's atmosphere. Human blood samples were exposed to different challenges (e.g. bacterial/viral/fungal antigens, pokeweed mitogen) in combination with one or multiple space-simulated conditions.
These insights contribute to understanding the health of future astronauts in the International Space Station or - why not? - during a journey to Mars.