An article from DOTmed News reports that in space, radiation from exploding stars, cosmic rays, and powerful particle forces can affect the health of humans in significant ways. According to Ann Kennedy, DSc, professor of radiation biology in the Department of Radiation Oncology, the major type of radiation that's of concern is proton radiation. Kennedy is one of the team leaders appointed by the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI), which works closely with NASA, to study the effects of radiation on astronauts for long-duration spaceflights that are expected to take place in the near future. Penn Medicine's Roberts Proton Therapy Center is in many respects Kennedy's laboratory. "Proton therapy, in a hospital like ours, is good at killing cancer cells. It's related to what we're doing now [with NSBRI] because it's primarily proton radiation that's a problem for the acute effects of radiation which come from solar particle events," Kennedy told DOTmed News.
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