Alberto Sant Antonio, MD, a Weston, Florida general surgeon, was selected to obtain the tissue samples from the six adults. NASA is hopeful the Human adult stem cell experiments will lead to the reversal of the rapid aging process that zero gravity has on astronauts.
"The stem cell research being conducted now will benefit all of us in the future," said Dr. Sant Antonio. "I am confident that NASA's stem cell experiments will help astronauts stay younger and healthier in space, and this will eventually apply to people here on earth.
Dr. Sant Antonio has for the past two years submitted specimens for NASA's evaluation. Not until the final shuttle mission did the adult stem cells end up in space. "NASA came through in a huge way," said Dr. Sant Antonio. "Astronauts age much more quickly because of harmful gamma rays that bombard their bodies. Injecting future astronauts may slow the aging process in space. This is a critical step in space exploration. This is history in the making."