5-speed listening (Brains - Level 4)

Astronauts' brains change shape during spaceflight






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Researchers have found that astronauts' brains change shape during spaceflight. It is the first study to look into this. Researchers looked at high-tech pictures of the brains of 26 astronauts. Twelve of them spent two weeks on the Space Shuttle, and 14 spent six months on the International Space Station. All of their brains increased and decreased in the size in different parts. The longer an astronaut spent in space, the bigger the size differences were.

The research produced interesting findings. One is that no gravity means fluids float in the body, so the brain changes position and size. The findings could help doctors to treat people with problems caused by long-term bed rest. They could also help those with a build-up of fluid in the brain, which can lead to brain damage. We will understand more about how neurons in the brain connect. The findings will also help future trips to Mars.

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