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Atlantis Carries Adult Stem Cells Into Space
by Staff Writers
Weston FL (SPX) Jul 22, 2011

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On its 135th and final flight in NASA's shuttle program, the shuttle Atlantis carried the stem cells of six adults to the International Space Station. Alberto Sant Antonio, MD, a Weston, Florida general surgeon, was selected to obtain the tissue samples from the six adults. NASA is hopeful the Human adult stem cell experiments will lead to the reversal of the rapid aging process that zero gravity has on astronauts.

"The stem cell research being conducted now will benefit all of us in the future," said Dr. Sant Antonio. "I am confident that NASA's stem cell experiments will help astronauts stay younger and healthier in space, and this will eventually apply to people here on earth.

Dr. Sant Antonio has for the past two years submitted specimens for NASA's evaluation. Not until the final shuttle mission did the adult stem cells end up in space. "NASA came through in a huge way," said Dr. Sant Antonio. "Astronauts age much more quickly because of harmful gamma rays that bombard their bodies. Injecting future astronauts may slow the aging process in space. This is a critical step in space exploration. This is history in the making."

The stem cells from a Pompano Beach, Florida woman took off with the Atlantis crew. "This is thrilling," said Valerie Daniello, who was chosen by Dr. Sant Antonio to take part in the project. "It's a wonderful feeling knowing that a part of me may well help the astronauts. My seven year old son is quite aware of the importance of scientific research in space. He's very excited."

Dr. Sant Antonio has been working for the past two years in collaboration with Tissue Genesis, Inc., a stem cell research company based in Honolulu, Hawaii and Miami Fat Supply, which was chosen to supply the fat which is harvested for the stem cells.

Dr. Sant Antonio says this group was selected by NASA because it has the best protocol in yielding quality stem cells.

"This is all amazing," said Lajill Durr of Atlanta, who was also called-on to take part in NASA's stem cell study. "These experiments are so important to those who will follow us for generations to come."

Dr. Sant Antonio believes NASA has been studying the effects stem cells have had on mice in space, "I believe NASA will soon be injecting stem cells into astronauts. They've come a long way and just in time for the last shuttle mission. It's a great feeling."

Dr. Sant Antonio expects that some of the stem cells may remain on the International Space Station, while some of the stem cells may be brought back to earth to see the affects space may have had on the stem cells during this final mission.

Added Dr. Sant Antonio, "This is only the beginning of stem cell research in space. It's very exciting."

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Space Shuttle final landing marks end of an era
Paris, France (ESA) Jul 22, 2011
Thus was history made: Space Shuttle Atlantis left the International Space Station on Tuesday and made its last return to Earth. The Shuttle era is now over and the door is open to the next generation of space vehicles. After an additional day to accommodate the cargo movements to and from the Raffaello transport module, the STS-135 mission lasted 12 days 18 hours 27 minutes. The main whe ... read more

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