Apr 20, 2009 | 6
Quick to light up despite the potential risks? Take note: there may be a way to rapidly predict your chances of developing lung cancer – and provide yet more incentive to kick the habit. Researchers have discovered that smokers who excrete high levels of two tobacco metabolites (chemicals produced when the body breaks down tobacco) in their urine are up to 8.5 times more likely than those who excrete low levels to develop lung cancer.
"If we can identify a smoker with a high level of metabolites, and down the road they have a higher risk of lung cancer, public health workers can get them motivated to quit smoking,” lead researcher Jian-Min Yuan, a cancer epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, told Bloomberg News.
Nov 25, 2008 | 5
After five days of ill-fated attempts, International Space Station (ISS) astronauts today ran two successful tests of equipment on board designed to turn urine, sweat and moisture from the air into drinking water, NASA.gov reports. NASA now must decide whether the contraption, deemed essential for hydration of future astronauts traveling farther out into space, should return with the space shuttle Edeavour on Sunday or remain on the ISS for further testing, according to the Associated Press.
After some tinkering (including installation of new support brackets to secure the system's centrifuge) by station commander Mike Fincke and shuttle mission specialist Don Pettit, the Urine Processor Assembly (part of the station's new Water Recovery System), successfully finished a full five-hour run, Space.com reported today. The astronauts successfully operated the system again three hours later after it cooled down. The $154 million water recycling system is part of a $250 million regenerative life support system designed to sustain larger space station crews with fewer supply drop-offs from visiting spacecraft, Space.com reports; the first six-person crew (currently there are only three astronauts on board at a time when there isn't a visiting spacecraft) is due to arrive at the orbiting lab next May.
Nov 21, 2008
Turning urine into drinkable water apparently isn't so easy. At least not in space. As the space shuttle Endeavour and International Space Station (ISS) crews gear up for tomorrow's scheduled seven-hour spacewalk, they're still wondering what to do with their malfunctioning $250 million water-and-urine recycling system. The processor ran for about two hours today before shutting itself down, reports SpaceFlight Now. This failure follows yesterday's tense moments, when the urine processor assembly set off an alarm on the space station as astronauts attempted to test it, according to Space.com.
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