As if astronauts didn't already have enough health-related concerns to be worried about, a new study shows that microgravity environments speed up biological aging and the onset of cardiovascular disease by affecting blood vessel cells.
Simply put, humans are not built for space. Even after short bursts of exposure to microgravity, astronauts suffer muscle atrophy, bone density loss, immune response impairments, and cardiovascular deconditioning. We know that microgravity screws up organisms at the cellular level, inhibiting gene expression (including cell signalling, response to stress, and changes in temperature). Exposure to microgravity also damages our eyes and brain, including a condition similar to idiopathic intracranial hypertension (the swelling of the brain).