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Astronauts Can Now Reach Mars Thanks To Groundbreaking Kidney Stone Treatment - Slashdot

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    An anonymous reader quotes a report from KOMO News: A groundbreaking medical procedure for those with kidney stones will soon be offered at the University of Washington after more than two decades of research. It will also give astronauts the go ahead they need from NASA to travel to Mars. It's a groundbreaking procedure to get rid of painful stones while you're awake, no anesthesia needed. "This has the potential to be game changing," said Dr. Kennedy Hall with UW Medicine. Still being run through clinical trials at UW Medicine, the procedure called burst wave lithotripsy uses an ultrasound wand and soundwaves to break apart the kidney stone. Ultrasonic propulsion is then used to move the stone fragments out, potentially giving patients relief in 10 minutes or less.

    This technology is also making it possible for astronauts to travel to Mars, since astronauts are at a greater risk for developing kidney stones during space travel. It's so important to NASA, the space agency has been funding the research for the last 10 years. "They could potentially use this technology while there, to help break a stone or push it to where they could help stay on their mission and not have to come back to land," said Harper.

    The research has been published in the Journal of Urology.


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