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Astronauts from Clemson University in US Believe Human Urine Can Help Safer Space Travel

In an effort to improve safe space travel, Clemson University researchers carried out the experiments

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Clemson University
The experiment has strong implications for safer space travel. Wikimedia
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  • A team of astronauts from Clemson University has carried out a strange research
  • The research has carried out bioengineering of Yarrowia lipolytica Yeast Strains 
  • These strains will help in the production of Omega 3 Fatty Acids which are vital to human well-being

US, August 28, 2017: A team of astronauts headed by Clemson University’s Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Mark Blenner, bioengineered Yarrowia Lipolytica Yeast Strains which will further produce Omega-3 Fatty Acids.

The Yeast Strains of Yarrowia Lipolytica are known for feeding on urine. The team of astronauts have thought of capitalizing on this crucial fact.

Also Read: ‘Sensory skin’ to help astronauts to know exactly when the outside of their spacecraft has been damaged: NASA

The bioengineered strains can also be used for producing polyesters that have tremendous property of molding into shapes.

During the research and experiment testing, the team was able to produce over 50mg of Omega-3 fatty acids. Further, 250 mg of plastic was also a result of this bioengineered yeast.

The objective of the research is of crucial importance to safer space travel. Stockpiling of food and bulky space supplies requires a huge space of the cargo room, which also used more fuel for it to move out of Earth’s gravity. So for a space mission, it is more efficient for the mission to utilize tools generated from waste compounds.

The Omega-3 Fatty Acid is stored inside the walls of the yeast as it grows. But how these fatty acids, that are vital for human health, be consumed?


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Omega-3 levels may better predict mortality risk than cholesterol

"We all know that the serum cholesterol level is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD), and since the latter is a major cause of death, it would be reasonable to expect that a high cholesterol level would portend higher risk for premature death", said a researcher

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Omega-3 acids can indicate risk of cardiovascular diseases. Pixabay
Omega-3 acids can indicate risk of cardiovascular diseases. Pixabay
  • Presence of Omega-3 can help in detecting cardiovascular diseases
  • More cholesterol means more risk of disease
  • It is important for one to keep their cholesterol in check

Measuring the levels of Omega-3 fatty acids present in the blood may indicate the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and mortality more profoundly than serum cholesterol, researchers have claimed. The serum cholesterol level is the total amount of cholesterol present in the blood.

Fish contains Omega-3 fatty acids. Pixabay

A higher “Omega-3 Index” a combination of the EPA and DHA (two important types of Omega-3) content of red blood cell membranes is associated with a 33 per cent reduced risk of death due to total cardiovascular disease (CVD) events, total coronary heart disease events, and total strokes, the study showed.

“We all know that the serum cholesterol level is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD), and since the latter is a major cause of death, it would be reasonable to expect that a high cholesterol level would portend higher risk for premature death,” said lead author William Harris, researcher at Britain’s University of Nottingham.

Also Read: Omega-3s from fish more effective in cancer prevention

For the study, published in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology, the team compared the total serum cholesterol and Omega-3 fatty acids, two “risk factors” for heart disease, in 2,500 individuals aged 60 years, who were free of known cardiovascular disease (CVD) at baseline.

benefits of donating blood
It is important to keep one’s biostat levels in check. Pixabay

Researchers primarily focussed on total mortality (death from any cause) as an end-point, but also tracked death from CVD, cancer and other causes. In addition, they reported the associations between Omega-3 Index levels and a risk for any CVD event fatal or not whether a heart attack or stroke.The results showed that the category most strongly associated with the Omega-3 Index was non-cardiovascular disease, non-cancer deaths from all other causes.

“When baseline serum cholesterol levels were substituted for the Omega-3 Index in the same multi-variable models, the former was not significantly associated with any of the tracked outcomes whereas the latter was related to four of the five outcomes assessed,” Harris said. IANS