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Guest: Dr. Michael Schmidt; Topics: Dr. Schmidt's paper in The New Space Journal, "Why Personalized Medicine Is The Frontier Of Medicine and Performance For Humans in Space" plus updates regarding personalized medicine for human spaceflight.
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We welcomed back Dr. Michael Schmidt to the program to discuss his recently published paper in The New Space Journal, "Why Personalized Medicine Is The Frontier Of Medicine and Performance For Humans in Space." There is a link to the paper on the blog for this show but you can also get the paper here: https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/space.2019.0037. During our 92 minute discussion, not only did we discuss this paper by Dr. Schmidt and his associates, but we discussed broader aspects of personalized and performance medicine, not just for human spaceflight but for sports and the general population. As with other Space show archives, I believe the best way to summarize the program is to start out by repeating the tags and key words as they tell the story of our conversation, most of our topics in the order discussed. I've added emails that got my attention along with the one listener phone call.
Tags/Key words: New Space Journal, "Why Personalized Medicine Is The Frontier Of Medicine and Performance For Humans in Space," personalized medicine, precision medicine, cancer treatment models, human spaceflight, sports, recovery issues, longevity, Mars mission example, Twins study, APOE4 genotype, BDMF derived neurotrophic factor protein, private spaceflight interests, Codeine in space, morphine, ethics, international space agencies and personalized medicine, multiscale omics, allergy technologies, gut and radiation, shingles on ISS, space pharma kit, space tourist concerns, Mt. Everest standards, five year timeline, genetic modification, spacecraft engineering, Downes syndrome and personal medicine, targeting genes, gene editing.
We started the discussion with an introduction to both performance medicine and personalized medicine. Dr. Schmidt provided us with definitions plus he said that the cancer treatments (oncology) area is where you can see advancements in this field regarding genotypes. It was an excellent discussion so don't miss it. Our guest also said that besides the use in cancer and for human spaceflight, these disciplines were being used by the professional sports organizations which he mentioned by name. He then talked about facilitating recovery and adding to longevity through personal medicine..
Dr. Schmidt jumped to talking about space and referenced a Mars mission as an example. Here he talked at length about genes APOE4 and BDMF. Much of what he said came from the recently completed Twins study that we have discussed many times on The Space Show. The Twins study was mentioned multiple times during our program as it has become a baseline study for many different in space situations and challenges. For sure you will want to listen to all of what was said about this study as our guest was among those doing research based on this well-known project. Dr. Schmidt talked about drugs, mentioning a few of them given unknowns about their use in space use and the differences one person may have with a drug from another person with the same drug.. Note what was said about codeine and morphine. This led to a series of questions for our guest about the general public getting the gene tests he was talking about. He said they were easy to get but getting the correct analysis of the tests and developing a good action plan might be a different problem. Michael was asked about ethnic, gender, cultural, and racial differences making personalized medicine even more important for a Mars crew which he said was designed for as a multicultural crew. One of the listener questions that came up was how to plan the medication/pharma kit for the crew if the kit was to be personalized for each crew member. I asked if that would be more costly re the drugs and added mass or in the long run would it be less costly as it might keep the astronauts in better shape working better for a longer period of time.
Listener John asked our guest if other national space agencies were using any of these new medical tools for their human spaceflight programs. Don't miss what our guest said about this. Listen to his introduction of multi-scale omics, again referring back to the Twins study. Another listener wanted to know if flight surgeons at NASA were using these tools. Michael responded in party by talking about how NASA flight surgeons might be using these new tools.
Marshall was our first and only caller. His primary question focused on allergy technology. Issues with gut and radiation were discussed as were extreme environments and the use of personalized and performance medical tools. Michael then talked with Marshall about his experiences with these medical tools and the Le Mans race. Covid requirements came up, Michael mentioned a real problem should shingles happen on the ISS, plus other viral expressions were mentioned that can challenge human spaceflight.
By email, Carl inquired about the cost of the pharma kit for personalized and performance medicine. Michael then introduced us to remote and wilderness medicine and talked about seizure medicine. An email from Alan arrived asking if a space tourist needed this type of advanced medicine for his/her spaceflight. Michael said this was still an unknown but probably it would depend on the duration of the tourist flight. He said that typically for space tourism the Mt. Everest medical standard was used.
As we were nearing the end of the program, I asked our guest for a prediction five years out regarding the use and deployment of personalized and performance medicine. Don't miss how our guest answered that question. Another listener asked if people would soon be able to get the desired gene tests on their own without the costly RX from a doctor. Kristi then fired in a question for our guest regarding the much talked about subject of genetic modification for human spaceflight. Our guest had much to say in reply to the Kristi email, then I asked if our guest thought humans were just not made or fit to be in space. Listen to what Michael had to say regarding that frequently heard comment plus space explorers and harsh environments.
Henry from NYC got in a late question asking about the engineering of the actual spacecraft, wondering if that was a big part of human spaceflight health. Henry's question was followed with an email from Roger wanting to know if personal medicine was being applied to children. We learned that it was as our guest talked about Downs Syndrome. You definitely don't want to miss a word of what said on this topic. I asked Michael about gene editing and if that was the same as gene modification. You might be surprised by what our guest had to say with that question.
Michael provided us with a summary and a suggestion to check his company website, Sovaris Aerospace (https://sovarisaerospace.com) for news and updates. He mentioned a new paper he was working which we hope to feature on The Space Show in the spring of 2021.
Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this program. You can reach Dr. Schmidt through me or his website above.