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July 7, 2014 AT 2:00 am

Astronauts in space will get a full health checkup with a single drop of blood

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Now there’s really no excuse for missing your physical! Scientists are developing a new instrument that would allow astronauts to receive a full checkup by providing one drop of blood, from Geek:

Astronauts stationed on the International Space Station (ISS) can’t exactly swing by the doctor’s office to have tests done, and sending blood samples back to Earth isn’t really feasible. So any in-depth health monitoring on these extended postings has to be done on-site, but the ISS doesn’t have room for a full medical laboratory. The device from Radisens Diagnostic uses a small disc that spins to separate the solid and liquid components of blood — it’s basically a tiny centrifuge. The liquid plasma diffuses into various testing chambers on the disc, which are then used to run tests.

The Earth-bound version of Radisens Diagnostic’s technology has small cartridges for the instrument that can be used to test the drop of blood for markers in heart disease, liver function, cancers, diabetes, and more. The company says it shouldn’t be any problem to adapt the technology to a weightless environment. Centrifugation of the blood sample should work just as well without the constant pull of gravity.

Read more.


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