Selection 1965 NASA Group
Space agency NASA
Name Duane Graveline
|Born March 2, 1931 (age 84)
Newport, Vermont (1931-03-02) |
Books Lipitor - Thief of Memory, The Statin Damage Crisis, Statin Drugs - Side Effe, Statin Drugs Side Effects
Other occupation Flight Surgeon USAF
Duane Graveline ● A Simple Tribute
Duane Edgar Graveline (March 2, 1931 – September 5, 2016) was an American physician and NASA astronaut. He was one of the six scientists selected in 1965, in NASA's fourth group of astronauts, for the Apollo program. He was best known for being immersed in water for seven days as part of his zero gravity deconditioning research while working as a United States Air Force (USAF) research scientist. He was consultant to magician David Blaine for Blaine's week of water immersion in 2006, correctly predicting Blaine's profound weakness from deconditioning.
Graveline was born on March 2, 1931, in Newport, Vermont. He retired from family practice after twenty-three years and was a writer of medical and science fiction. His hobbies included medical consulting in zero gravity deconditioning and galactic cosmic radiation and personal health maintenance. Graveline died at the age of 85 on September 5, 2016. Dr. Graveline's ashes were interred at Arlington National Cemetery on May 3, 2017 with full military honors. The headstone was added in the summer of 2017.
Graveline graduated from Newport High School in 1948. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Vermont in June 1951 and his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine in June 1955. Following his internship at Walter Reed, he specialized in Aerospace Medicine, receiving his Masters in Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1958.
Graveline entered the United States Air Force Medical Service after graduation from medical college. Following internship he attended the primary course in Aviation Medicine, Class 56C, at Randolph Air Force Base and was assigned to Kelly Air Force Base as Chief of the Aviation Medicine Service.
Graveline was granted the aeronautical rating of flight surgeon in February 1957. From September 1957 to June 1958, he attended Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, where he received his master's degree in Public Health.
He then attended the Aerospace Medical residency at the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, completing his residency training in July 1960 at Brooks Air Force Base and receiving his specialty certification by the American Board in Preventative Medicine. At that time he was assigned to the Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory as research scientist with special interest in prolonged weightlessness deconditioning and countermeasures. In July 1962, he returned to Brooks Air Force Base where he continued his research, served as intelligence analyst for Soviet bioastronautics and was active as a NASA flight controller for the Mercury and Gemini missions.
Graveline authored ten professional publications and reports on biological deconditioning and weightlessness countermeasures. His research involved bed rest and water immersion to study deconditioning. While in the USAF he did the original research on both the extremity tourniquet and the prototype lower body negative pressure device for use in prolonged zero gravity missions. NASA's operational lower body negative pressure device has seen use in the Soviet MIR, as well as on the shuttle and station research. His 2004 research on space medicine was studying the effect of galactic "heavies" in the brains of mice, using iron ions and NASA's linear accelerator at Brookhaven, NY.
In June 1965, Graveline was selected with NASA's first group of scientist astronauts and assigned to Williams Air Force Base for jet pilot training. He resigned on August 18, 1965, prior to being assigned to a mission. Although this was ascribed to "personal reasons," it was later disclosed in Deke Slayton's memoir that Graveline resigned due to his impending divorce. According to Slayton, "The program didn't need a scandal. A messy divorce meant a quick ticket back to wherever you came from." Upon his resignation Graveline stayed with NASA for three months as a doctor in Houston before returning to civilian life. Graveline practiced medicine as a family doctor in Burlington, Vermont, during which time he also served as a flight surgeon for the Vermont Army National Guard. Upon his retirement at age sixty, Graveline became a writer of medical and science fiction thrillers with 15 novels to his credit.
Following his experience with cholesterol drug side effects, Graveline became a critic of the use of statins to treat high cholesterol levels. While on Lipitor, Graveline developed transient global amnesia and could not recognize his family. He slowly recovered after stopping this medication. NASA physicians then prescribed half the dose, but the amnesia returned.
Graveline wrote four books in support of his statin drug research: Lipitor, Thief of Memory (2006), Statin Drugs Side Effects (2006) The Statin Damage Crisis (2010) and his final book The Dark Side of Statins (2017). His criticisms include the important role of cholesterol in the metabolic pathways in the brain and its proper functioning, including mediating the formation of new synapses.
He referred to clinical trials and studies whose data showed that statins have negligible impact on heart disease in primary patients (i.e., those who have not been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease) yet increase their mortality overall from all causes.
He had no associations with pharmaceutical companies, received no grants or funding from them or other state bodies.
He has corresponded/collaborated with Scottish doctor Malcolm Kendrick who, in his book The Great Cholesterol Con, quotes data from trials and the World Health Organisation (WHO) data to show that statins do not increase life expectancy overall, do not prevent heart disease in patients without cardiovascular symptoms. The book states that widely varying levels of cholesterol are inversely correlated with deaths from heart disease. Higher levels are also inversely correlated with cancer mortality. That is, within a reasonable range, higher total cholesterol is associated with lower cancer mortality.
Graveline was a contributor to the book NASA's Scientist-Astronauts by David Shayler and Colin Burgess.