(Image Credit: Pat Kenny, via National Cancer Institute)

Despite the beauty and tranquility that comes with viewing the cosmos close up, the reality is space is a very dangerous place thanks to radiation.

Aside from the fact that it can turn your brain into mush, space radiation can also encourage cancer to form, leading to an early death for a future space settler.

Fortunately a drug designed to fight off strokes may also help space colonists defeat a future foe.

(Haaretz) Israeli scientists have identified a substance that can kill cancerous cells without harming healthy ones, paving the way for more effective cancer treatment. […]

The substance identified by the researchers, which delays cell proliferation in healthy and cancerous cells, is a component of a drug developed a decade ago to preserve nerve cells and prevent them from dying after a stroke.

But while the drug causes the rapid death of cancer cells, healthy cells activate a mechanism that overcomes the delay in proliferation within hours, and those cells continue to proliferate exactly like cells not exposed to the substance.

This is really good news, especially considering that there are very few radiation safe worlds within our star system.

If perfected, this drug (along with an anti-radiation drug) could enable humans to safely dwell upon Mars, Callisto and (with heavy shielding) Ganymede too.

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