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Dormant viruses activate during spaceflight (2019) (sciencedaily.com)
25 points by Hooke 3 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 5 comments

TIL: "During spaceflight there is a rise in secretion of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which are known to suppress the immune system. In keeping with this, we find that astronaut's immune cells -- particularly those that normally suppress and eliminate viruses -- become less effective during spaceflight and sometimes for up to 60 days after."


Is that during a whole stint in the ISS for example, or the mainly stressful parts during ascent and descent?

From the actual paper [1]: "The shedding did not abate during the longer ISS missions, but rather increased in frequency and amplitude. These findings coincided with the immune system dysregulation observed in astronauts from shuttle and ISS missions."

So it's not just ascent and descent.

[1] https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2019.0001...

It would be interesting to know if flu viruses could also lay dormant and reactivate during certain events. Perhaps it would be in line with the popular notion that, say, people get the flu if exposed to cold weather, as well as the concept of seasonal flus.

This is to be expected; complex organisms need a biosphere to survive. It is only a question of how these biological processes break down.

It may also turn out that some microorganisms thrive and evolve in their new environment; are there any risks in bringing them back to Earth?

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