Public Release: 

The successful launch of Falcon Heavy prompts a roadmap for radioresistant astronauts

InSilico Medicine, Inc.


IMAGE: The evolving set of strategies was proposed for increasing resistance to radiation in humans. view more 

Credit: Insilico Medicine

This massively-collaborative paper proposes the roadmap for making humans more resistant to radiation and multiple other forms of stress- and age- associated damage. For the first time the group presented the Hallmarks of Radioresistance.

"The cost of one productive life year (PLY) for humans in space is likely to be much higher than on Earth and efforts should be made to maximize PLYs of the colonists. If we cannot dramatically change healthcare and shift focus toward prevention, reinforcement and on Earth, it does not mean we should not try to allow the brave pioneers to withstand the harsh environment and enhance performance. High-LET radiation is among the first challenges that needs to be addressed and productive longevity will likely be a side effect of increased radioresistance. Nations worldwide should consider putting aside the ideological differences that lead to segregation and slowdown in science and unite around achieving increased longevity and health of the space travellers", said Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, the founder and CEO of Insilico Medicine, Inc.

Substantial efforts are being made around the world to colonize the moon and Mars, mine the asteroids and explore deep space. These efforts are primarily focused on technological capabilities including better and more efficient rockets and sustainable habitats. However, the strategies to tackle space radiation have been largely overlooked. The main components of space radiation are solar particle events (SPE), geomagnetically trapped radiation and galactic cosmic radiation (GCR). It has been estimated that a return trip to Mars could subject astronauts to radiation doses of 660 mSv, which alone represents more than half of the total NASA astronaut career limit of 800-1200 mSv. Launching humans into space is going to be very expensive and arranging for proper medical care is going to be difficult at first and new strategies are needed to increase stress resistance and reduce the health-related uncertainties that can be detrimental to the future of space colonization.

"Elon Musk demonstrated that it is possible to set very ambitious goals in the private sector and successfully achieve them. At Insilico Medicine we set very ambitious goals and our Falcon Heavy is the fully-integrated end-to-end drug discovery pipeline utilizing the next-generation artificial intelligence and it will launch this Summer. And while our immediate goal is to transform the pharmaceutical industry in the most credible way, the same AI pipeline can be applied to discovery and development of new therapeutic strategies including geroprotectors, senoremediators and radioprotectors", said Ivan Ozerov, PhD, the director of target discovery at Insilico Medicine.

The strategies for achieving the increased radioresistance and longevity will be presented at the 5th Annual Aging Research for Drug Discovery Forum and the 2nd Annual Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain Technologies for Healthcare Forum in Basel as part of the Basel Life Congress, September 11-14, 2018.

Insilico Medicine is regularly publishing many "firsts" and proofs of concept in the application of deep learning to drug discovery and biomarker development. It was the first to apply the deep generative adversarial networks (GANs) to the generation of new molecular structures with specified parameters and published seminal papers in Oncotarget and Molecular Pharmaceutics. Another paper published in Molecular Pharmaceutics in 2016 and demonstrated the proof of concept of the application of deep neural networks for predicting the therapeutic class of the molecule using the transcriptional response data, received the American Chemical Society Editors' Choice Award. The latest paper published in the Journals of Gerontology demonstrated the application of the deep neural networks to assessing the biological age of the patients.


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Contact: Qingsong Zhu, PhD

About Insilico Medicine, Inc

Insilico Medicine, Inc. is an artificial intelligence company headquartered at the Emerging Technology Centers at JHU in Baltimore, with R&D and management resources in Belgium, Russia, UK, Taiwan and Korea sourced through hackathons and competitions. The company utilizes advances in genomics, big data analysis, and deep learning for in silico drug discovery and drug repurposing for aging and age-related diseases. Insilico pioneered the applications of the generative adversarial networks (GANs) and reinforcement learning for generation of novel molecular structures for the diseases with a known target and with no known targets. In addition to working collaborations with the large pharmaceutical companies, the company is pursuing internal drug discovery programs in cancer, dermatological diseases, fibrosis, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, ALS, diabetes, sarcopenia, and aging. Through a partnership with the company launched a range of nutraceutical products. It also provides a range of consumer-facing applications including Young.AI and Aging.AI.

The company raised venture capital and partnered with Juvenescence Limited, a holding company focused on longevity biotechnology. The company aspires to become the "Bell Labs" for artificial intelligence and associated technologies for healthcare and longevity biotechnology and commercialize its research by forming subsidiaries around the specific technologies and licensing the intellectual property, molecules and data to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. In 2018, the company was named the one of the global top 100 AI companies by CB Insights. Website:

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