Oman Observer

Researchers find simulated Moon dust kills cells and alters DNA

In a new study published in the journal GeoHealth, researchers from the Stony Brook University School of Medicine were able to measure the effect of moon dust on the human body. Scientists used human lung cells and mouse brains cells, which were then exposed to simulated versions of lunar soil.
Real lunar dust isn’t used for study, as it is too valuable. Instead, scientists used soil from Earth that simulates soil found in the Moon’s highlands and volcanic plains. The cells were exposed to the moon dust under controlled conditions. Researchers found that grounded-up moon dust that is fine enough to be inhaled killed up to 90 per cent of both human lung cells and mouse brain cells.
After each time, the team would count how many cells were left and measured how the lunar soil affected the cell’s DNA. Researchers found that the moon dust killed the cells or caused damage to the cells’ DNA. Scientists were not able to measure the DNA damage in human lungs cells because the simulated lunar soil killed all the cells. In the mouse brain cells, the lunar soil caused DNA damage to the neurons. During the Apollo 17 moon mission, astronauts found that when they inhaled the lunar dust dragged in by their gear, they would experience lunar hay fever. The astronauts would be sneezing and have watery eyes and sore throats as a result of inhaling moon dust. It took a couple of hours for the sensation to go away.