Duane Edgar Graveline (MD, MPH) (born on March 2, 1931 in Newport, Vermont) is an American physician and was a NASA astronaut. He was one of the six scientists selected in 1965, in NASA's fourth group of astronauts, for the Apollo program. He is best known for being immersed in water for seven days as part of his zero gravity deconditioning research while 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.[citation needed]


Graveline was born on March 2, 1931 in Newport, Vermont. He retired from family practice after twenty-three years and is now a writer of medical and science fiction. His current hobbies include medical consulting in zero gravity deconditioning and galactic cosmic radiation and personal health maintenance.


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 this 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 is the author of ten professional publications and reports on biological deconditioning and weightlessness countermeasures. His research has 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 used in the Soviet MIR, as well as on the shuttle and station research. His most recent space medicine research (2004) was in 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 due to personal reasons prior to being assigned to a mission and returned 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. Since his retirement at age sixty, Graveline has become a writer of medical and science fiction thrillers with 15 novels to his credit and another in the works.

Following his experience with cholesterol drug side effects, Graveline has become 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.[1]


Graveline has written three books in support of his statin drug research: Lipitor, Thief of Memory (2010),[2] Statin Drugs Side Effects (2006)[3] and, his most recent, Statin Damage Crisis (2010).[2] 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 refers to clinical trials and studies whose data show 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 has no associations with pharmaceutical companies, receives no grants or funding from them or other state bodies.[citation needed]
[Clarification needed] He has corresponded/collaborated[citation needed] with Scottish doctor Malcolm Kendrick who, in his book The Great Cholesterol Con,[4] 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,[Clarification needed] 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.


  1. Sytrinol: A natural way to decrease cholesterol Toronto Sun, Canada. Published March 19, 2011. Accessed April 11, 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 [1]
  3. [2]
  4. [3]

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