Washington, Feb 11 (IANS) NASA Expedition 71 astronauts will study neurological ‘organoids’, plant growth and changes in body fluids aboard the International Space Station (ISS). NASA astronauts Matthew Dominick, Michael Barratt, Jeanette Epps and Tracy C. Dyson are scheduled to arrive at the space station this month and in March.
“Human Brain Organoid Models for Neurodegenerative Disease & Drug Discovery” (HBOND) studies the mechanisms behind neuroinflammation, a common feature of neurodegenerative disorders.
Researchers create “organoids” using iPSCs (induced pluripotent stem cells) derived from patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease and primary progressive multiple sclerosis.
The results could help improve diagnosis, provide insight into the effects of aging, accelerate drug discovery, and identify therapeutic targets for patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.
According to NASA, “organoid” models could also provide a way to anticipate how prolonged spaceflight affects the brain and support the development of countermeasures.
Plants can serve as a food source and provide other life support services on long-term missions to the Moon and Mars.
The study on “Plant Responses to the Stress of Microgravity and High Ultraviolet Radiation in Space” (Plant UV-B) examines how microgravity stress, UV radiation, and the combination of both affect plants molecular, cellular and entire organism level. levels.
“The results could increase understanding of plant growth in space and support improvements in plant breeding technologies for future missions,” the space agency said.
Weightlessness causes body fluids to move toward the head, which can cause changes in eye structure and vision known as “spaceflight-associated neuroocular syndrome” (SANS), along with other health problems.
The new study will examine whether thigh pressure cuffs could provide a simple way to counteract this change in body fluids and help protect astronauts from SANS and other problems on future missions to the Moon and Mars.
Thigh sleeves could also help treat or prevent problems in patients on Earth who suffer from conditions that cause fluid to build up in the head, such as prolonged bed rest and illness.