KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (CBS Tampa) — The carnally adventurous may want to cross interstellar sex off of their bucket lists for good.
According to the findings of a new study, astronauts should wait until returning home to Earth before engaging in intercourse.
Otherwise, their risk of acquiring neurological diseases could increase.
Researchers at Montreal University made the discovery while observing the effects of gravity on plants-only relations, according to LiveScience.
In their study, which was published earlier this month in the journal PLOS ONE, the scientists reportedly observed disruptions in a process known as intercellular trafficking.
“The intercellular trafficking, which occurs in very precisely defined paths in these cells, was affected,” study researcher Anja Geitmann, a biologist at the University of Montreal, told LiveScience.
The process plays an integral role in the proper functioning of human cells – specifically, lengthy neurons.
Geitmann noted to LiveScience that, while radiation exposure, stress and sleep deprivation had all been attributed to declines in cognitive performance by astronauts in space in the past, intercellular trafficking might also contribute to the drop.
She additionally noted, “Many neuronal diseases, such as Huntington’s or Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s, are related to trafficking.”
In order to conduct the study, the researchers made use of a centrifuge at the European Space Agency that allowed the team to simulate zero gravity as much as it can be on Earth.
It’s not true zero gravity,” Geitmann explained to LiveScience. “There is continuously 1 g on the sample, but it simply changes direction.”
NASA has reportedly denied that its astronauts have had sex in space.