Saturday, March 21, 2009

Blonde Bedrest Twins

We'll skip the obvious doublemint gum jokes and get right to the point, no matter how the headline sounds ...

NASA Study twins
Lisha & Kari Ashford, performers from Los Angeles, California, were able to provide a whole new twist on micro-gravity research -- in a way that only identical twins can. Both engaged in "spaceflight sim" with the usual -6 blood-rush. However, Lisha stayed in bed the entire time while Kari exercised daily on a vertical treadmill... very similar to the studies at the Cleveland Clinic, and now finally underway at UTMB in Galveston.

On their web site, they give a great description of their study at the University of San Diego Research Center, and you can click on the NASA Pictures link to see captures of their daily life, and some of the science-related drills.

They ran whereas we bicycled, but many other things were the same... such as strength and balance tests, massages, and the dreaded "Tilt Test" (actually kinda glad I didn't have to do another of those, though I wish I'd had someone take photos at my first one). There are even shots of their entire research team... who seem a little less camera shy than those at Galveston! ;)

NASA tilt test
Also among the photos is another set of twins at the same study, who went through the same drill: one sister exercised, one didn't ... giving doctors insights to the differences in muscle and bone changes during micro-gravity after a 30-day period.

Incredibly, this makes 18 total articles I've found on bedrest studies between 1960 and 2009.