Issue Date: September 17, 2007
NIH, NASA Partner on Health Research
A memorandum of understanding between NIH and NASA establishes a new partnership of these two agencies to study human health and disease using the International Space Station. "The station provides a unique environment where researchers can explore fundamental questions about human health issues," NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni says. Among the problems to be explored are the molecular basis for fragile bones and muscle-wasting diseases, how the brain works in people with balance disorders, and how microbe infectivity and human immunity are affected by prolonged space travel. "The congressional designation as a national laboratory underscores the significance the American people place in the scientific potential of the space station," NASA Administrator Michael D. Griffin says, adding the agreement shows that space station resources can be expanded beyond space exploration to include improving human health.
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