Earlier this year, Dorota Tataruch spent two months lying around in bed with her feet up, 24 hours a day, all in the name of science. Tataruch, a sports-loving 25-year-old from Poland who lives in Sweden and studies in Italy, was one of 12 women who agreed to undertake a 60-day period of bed rest as part of a study designed to simulate the effects of weightlessness on the human body so that researchers could examine possible countermeasures.

Tataruch and her fellow volunteers lay in beds inclined at an angle of 6 degrees, with their feet slightly higher than their heads, to induce the same conditions in the body as those experienced during long periods of weightlessness. They were taking part in the Women International Simulation Experiment (WISE), sponsored by the European Space Agency, NASA, the Canadian Space Agency, and the National Center of Space Studies (CNES), and carried out...

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