Astronaut blindness explained, hairy palms still mystery

NASA ruled out masturbation after removing the bathroom door did not affect vision impairment rates.
NASA ruled out masturbation after removing the bathroom door did not reduce vision impairment rates.

It’s not exactly well advertised by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on LinkedIn, but extended stays on the International Space Station — or in micro-gravity in general — may irreparably damage your vision. Two-thirds of astronauts spending six months or longer on the ISS now suffer from permanently blurry vision. Unsurprisingly, this “blindness” is fluid-related; surprisingly, it’s from brain fluids, not … idle hands.

We already know that fluid behaves differently in zero-G. What we didn’t realize is that, given enough time, the cerebrospinal fluid in the skull’s brain cavity flows willy-nilly and can eventually press on the backs of the eyeballs enough that they flatten a bit. And changing the shape of the eye even a little is enough to impair the ability to focus.

At the moment, NASA has no plan to prevent this as there’s no way to control where fluid flows within the skull. The only current possibilities are either shorter stays or inventing artificial gravity — which introduces its own problem:

Nobody installed seatbelts onboard the ISS.
Nobody installed seat belts onboard the ISS.

Science steps up for your naughty bits

As much as we love to rub our junk on things and each other, there are way too many hazards. But, thanks to medical science, we are now two discoveries closer to limiting those hazards to bristly objects and people.

Researchers have developed a new treatment for herpes that can reduce the virus’s ability to reproduce and spread. The new drug, pritelivir, improves upon existing treatments by targeting a viral component used earlier in the reproductive cycle. (Earlier in the virus’ reproductive cycle, not yours.)

"Thanks, doc! My grip's never been stronger, and the little lady still hasn't caught on to my 'business trip' to Thailand."
“Thanks, doc! My grip’s never been stronger, and the little lady still hasn’t caught on to my ‘business trip’ to Thailand.”

And if, like Rambo, you prefer to “go it alone,” then we have good news: scientists have developed a treatment to slow down or cure blindness. Surgeons used gene therapy to restore sight to six patients suffering from choroideremia, blindness caused by a faulty gene that allows light-detecting cells at the back of the eye to gradually die. Injecting a healthy gene and some therapy could get you back to it with visual porn in no time.

Science: making a better tomorrow, one stroke at a time.

Ask Dr. Snee: Got any Irish in you?

Today is St. Patrick’s Day.

And when I think of St. Patrick’s, I think of not pulling out during my annual night of leprechaun-themed sex. (There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for love, unlike certain Meat Loafs.)

Based on your letters, though, most of you think about drinking. Is St. Patrick’s a drinking holiday? I’ve been known tip a keg back for Bastille Day, but imbibing alcohol on a religious day? You people are weird.

Nevertheless, it is my doctorly duty to never turn away a patient until their insurance company says it’s OK. So, let’s get to your questions.
Continue reading Ask Dr. Snee: Got any Irish in you?

Cure for blindness not nearly as awesome as citrus fruits

Bah! A tooth? That’s not a cure, that’s simply molly-coddling devices that allow ye to be slobbering with comely wenches! Blindness never impeded any good pirate: they still fight on. Give me two minutes and I could tell you of the blind pirate Soggy Cheesebeard Slappy and how he fought off the 15th Royal British Navy with but a peg leg, a parrot and a bottle of rum.

What’s that? I don’t have one? YARRRGH! Ye be true pillager of me chronal treasures!

Fine then! To be making a long tale a bit smaller, a wench somehow was able to have her looking ability given back to her not by the haunts of the sea, but by a tooth placed in her eye socket. ‘Tis a far too expensive and time-wasting procedure if ye be askin’ me. Simply give her some oranges and limes to fight off the scurvy and she’d be right as rain. YAR!