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D. A Bone Loss Study of Astronauts also Benefits Populations on Earth

Narrator: This is Science Today. A study looking into the causes and possible treatment of bone loss resulting from the prolonged weightlessness of space travel will not just benefit astronauts. Study leader Roger Long, an endocrinology research fellow at the University of California , San Francisco , says here on Earth, patients who are immobilized due to injury experience the same type of bone loss.

Long: When there's prolonged bed rest, there's not much stimulation on the bones. So, these individuals that will lose bone and it's been well-documented that prolonged bed rest weakens the bones and reduces the strength and mechanical properties of bone. So, there are ground-based models of weightlessness in individuals that have to spend prolonged periods of time in bed for whatever reason.

Narrator: This includes a patient population with traumatic spinal cord or brain injuries.

Long: So, there's the possibility that an application of this research not only extends to astronauts, a limited population, but actually have a much more general application.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.