Bioprinting Tissue in Space (Abstract Science, July 19-25)
Also: breastfeeding with COVID, and immune persistence after infection
(Doris Elin Urrutia, Space.com, 7/20/20)
Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko used a bioprinter to assemble human cartilage tissue on the International Space Station (ISS) in December 2018, according to a recently published study. For deep space exploration or potential journeys to Mars and beyond, space crews will need to be more self-reliant and be able to respond to unexpected emergencies. The bioprinter may be one tool they can use to provide medical support or even print food on long voyages.
(Marisa Peryer, CNN, 7/23/20)
A new study published in The Lancet indicates that breastfeeding mothers who tested positive for COVID-19 did not pass the virus to their babies when precautions were taken. 116 COVID-19+ mothers were asked to use surgical masks while feeding, were instructed to wash their hands and bodies before touching their babies, and were kept six feet from their babies at all other times. None of the babies who completed the study tested positive for COVID-19, though about a third of participants did not complete the study.
(Richard Harris, NPR, 7/23/20)
The article discusses research into the persistence of antibodies after patients have recovered from COVID-19. In reality the virus has not existed in humans long enough for scientists to know for sure, but the published studies have shown B and T-cell responses lasting months after infection. It is believed that a vaccine response will be even stronger than a natural immune response, since the vaccine provides a stronger than normal dose.
—Stories compiled by Senior Scientific Writer Mary Parker