Scientists have synthesized new biomaterial to protect astronauts from radiation

Researchers have created a light multifunctional biomaterial, well-protecting human tissue from harmful radiation.

Melanin is contained in most organisms of animals and plants, as well as bacteria and mushrooms. Although basically this substance is known due to pigmentation, but it also protects cells from radiation. In conventional earthly conditions, it effectively copes with its task, but with an increased level of radiation (during flights or radiation therapy), it does not cope.

An even greater exposure to irradiation is subject to astronauts, which, with a long stay in open space, begins to damage the DNA, and during the trip to Mars, a person can receive 700 times more radiation than on Earth. Therefore, scientists from the North-West University decided to improve Melanin, enriching it with selenium.

New biomaterial called selenomelane, much easier and more elastic than traditional radio protection materials such as lead. Therefore, it can be applied to the skin of a person like sunscreen, or use as a protective coating for cargo.

Although its samples are now investigated on the ISS, but the tests on the surface showed that after receiving the dose of radiation, which would be fatal for a person, only cells treated with a new compound demonstrated a normal life cycle.

Parallel tests have shown that some microorganisms can synthesize selenomelane in the presence of a rich source of selenium in the environment.

Recall that in May, the researchers also reported developing

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