The beginning of September saw InnovaSpace Scientific Director Thais Russomano take part in a scientific meeting and workshop event at Moltrasio, in the beautiful Lake Como region of Italy. The occasion had representatives from 12 different countries, including InnovaSpace Advisory Board member Marlise A dos Santos, the current Coordinator of the MicroG research centre, PUCRS. The event, called Bellagio II, followed on from a previous and similar initiative that happened in Bellagio in 2004, and related to the application of space medicine knowledge and technology on terrestrial medicine, health sciences, human performance and longevity. The ultimate goals were to identify space medicine findings and countermeasures with the highest probability of having future terrestrial application and to develop a roadmap for the translation of these prioritised measures to future health research and intervention development here on Earth.
The invitation-only meeting covered a series of presentations on the latest and most important areas of space life sciences, such as the medical and legal issues of space missions, space travel and genetics, space radiation and pharmacy, nutrition and food systems for health and wellness, physiological fitness and exercise countermeasures, behavioural sciences in space, space physiology and medical emergencies during space missions. Thais and Marlise contributed with presentations in the areas of space pharmacy, astrobiology, space physiology and management of medical emergencies in microgravity and hypogravity environments.
Two NASA astronauts Skyped in from the US during the meeting, and Thais had the opportunity to question them on their views about the best example of technological transfer from Space to Earth. Astronaut Ellen Baker (MD) believes the knowledge gained from experiencing the circadian rhythm alterations that occur on a daily basis during a space mission to be the most interesting contribution to terrestrial medicine, with the International Space Station completing a full orbit of the Earth every 90 min at a speed of 27,000 km/h, which means the astronauts onboard see a sunrise or sunset every 45 min. Astronaut Michael Barratt (MD) considers the knowledge gained regarding human physiology alterations that occur in Space to be the most important example of knowledge transfer from Space to Earth, as it is very difficult to properly simulate through ground-based studies the effect that the removal of gravity has on our physiology.
Interestingly, the main goals of the Bellagio II meeting are in harmony with one of the areas that InnovaSpace is currently establishing, namely, the transfer of extraterrestrial technology to terrestrial applications. InnovaSpace Advisory Board member, Gustavo Dalmarco, who is an expert in technological transfer and innovation, will coordinate this new initiative, which will come under the umbrella of the InnovaSpace Space2Earth Hub.