Space Biotechnology Research Paper

Abbreviations

CE-MS

Capillary Electrophoresis Mass Spectrometry

DMR

Diagnostic Magnetic Resonance

ECD

Electrochemical readout

ESI-MS

Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry

GEMM

Gene Expression Measurement Module

ISS

International Space Station

LC-MS

Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry

LLMDA

Lawrence Livermore Microbial Detection Array

LLM

Light Microscope Module

MALDI-MS

Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Mass Spectrometry

NASA

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NMR

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

μNMR

Miniaturized Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

O/OREOS

Organism/Organic Exposure to Orbital Stresses

PCR

Polymerase Chain Reaction

PCR/MA

PCR and DNA melting analysis

RT-PCR

Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction

RT-qPCR

Real Time quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction

SETG

Search for Extra-Terrestrial Genomes

SOLID

Sign Of Life Detector

SPU

Sample Preparation Unit

TRL

Technology Readiness Level

UPLC

Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography

Keywords

High-throughput

Omics

Biotechnology

Spaceflight

Genomics

Transcriptomics, Proteomics

Metabolomics

Microarray

Exploration

The weather forecast was iffy, but SpaceX finally launched its Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Dragon spacecraft into orbit on April 14. Dragon is on a commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS), where it will deliver more than 4,300 pounds of supplies and payloads, including material for supporting research.

Many of the headlines at launch focused on one piece of cargo: An espresso machine developed by coffee machine giant Lavazza and engineering firm Argotec with the Italian Space Agency. The “ISSpresso” machine was being delivered to Samantha Cristoforetti, a European Space Agency astronaut from Italy, who arrived on board the ISS in November.  Sharing space with ISSpresso, however, were equipment to directly support about 40 of more than 250 science and research investigations that will occur during the space station’s Expeditions 43 and 44.

A pair of those investigations appear below, on GEN’s first-ever List of 10 experiments carried out in space with applications for human health or drug R&D. The 10 are among a sample of the hundreds of research topics and experiments carried out in space in recent years. Each experiment topic is listed alphabetically by its title, with additional information on purpose, partners, principal investigator(s) and other investigators/collaborators, dates and distinctions, and links for more information.

GEN’s List is not the first attempt at a top-10 of space experiments. Back in 2013, ISS Chief Scientist Julie Robinson, Ph.D., posted her own “Top International Space Station Research Results Countdown” on NASA’s A Lab Aloft blog, focused on space station research and technology topics. Dr. Robinson’s top 10 ranged from bacterial pathogens to breast cancer, and included a way-out-there benefit of diet and exercise; the full list and background is available here.

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