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Lettuce helps protect the bones of astronauts on long flights

Researchers at the University of California, Davis (USA) have developed a genetically modified lettuce, thereby producing a drug that helps to protect the bones of astronauts when living in microgravity in space. long flights in space.

According to researchers, living and living in zero gravity for a long time causes astronauts to gradually lose bone density. However, the condition is completely preventable with a newly developed drug containing parathyroid hormone (PTH). The condition is that the astronauts must inject this drug regularly.

The new drug product contains a fusion protein from genetically modified lettuce that combines PTH with a part of human antibody protein.

The fusion protein was designed to stabilize blood circulation and allow astronauts to have the ability to purify drugs from plant-derived extracts, said Somen Nandi, an assistant professor in the UC Davis Department of Chemical Engineering. object. The work was presented this week at the spring meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Diego.

The team is currently evaluating the possibility of producing the drug in an oral form so that it can be easily introduced into the body of astronauts, so that they can self-load PTH by eating lettuce leaves.

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