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I am now running my annual July fund-raising campaign to celebrate the twelfth anniversary of the establishment of Behind the Black. For many reasons, mostly political but partly ethical, I do not use Google, Facebook, Twitter. These companies practice corrupt business policies, while targeting conservative websites for censoring, facts repeatedly confirmed by news stories and by my sense that Facebook has taken action to prevent my readers from recommending Behind the Black to their friends.

 

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Astronaut blood samples suggest long-term exposure to weightlessness causes brain damage

New research comparing blood samples taken from five Russian astronauts before and after long term missions to ISS suggests that weightlessness can cause brain damage.

Published in JAMA Neurology, the new research looked at five male Russian cosmonauts. Each spent an average of 169 days in space. Blood samples were taken from each subject before leaving Earth, and then at three points after returning.

Five different blood-based biomarkers were measured, each known to correlate with some kind of brain damage. Three biomarkers in particular were found to be significantly elevated after the cosmonauts returned to Earth – neurofilament light (NfL), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), and a specific type of amyloid beta protein.

The researchers hypothesize the increases in NfL and GFAP levels may indicate a type of neurodegeneration called axonal disintegration. Elevated NfL levels are currently being investigated as a way of detecting the earliest stages of brain damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

It must be emphasized that the research did not find brain damage, only data within the blood samples that is often associated with brain damage. More research is required to determine if these biomarkers indicate the same thing in space as they do on Earth.

Conscious Choice cover

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

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