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Volume 10 (2022): Issue 1 (January 2022)

Volume 9 (2021): Issue 1 (January 2021)

Volume 8 (2020): Issue 1 (May 2020)

Volume 7 (2019): Issue 1 (August 2019)

Volume 6 (2018): Issue 2 (December 2018)

Volume 6 (2018): Issue 1 (July 2018)

Volume 5 (2017): Issue 2 (December 2017)

Volume 5 (2017): Issue 1 (July 2017)

Volume 4 (2016): Issue 2 (December 2016)

Volume 4 (2016): Issue 1 (July 2016)

Volume 3 (2015): Issue 2 (December 2015)

Volume 3 (2015): Issue 1 (July 2015)

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Volume 2 (2022): Issue 1 (January 2022)

Volume 1 (2013): Issue 1 (July 2013)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2332-7774
First Published
30 Jan 2019
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English

Search

Volume 6 (2018): Issue 1 (July 2018)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2332-7774
First Published
30 Jan 2019
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English

Search

5 Articles

Short Communications

Open Access

Clinorotation Affects Induction of the Heat Shock Response in Arabidopsis thaliana Seedlings

Published Online: 20 Jul 2020
Page range: 2 - 9

Abstract

Abstract

Clinorotation used to simulate microgravity effects in ground-based experiments is considered as a mild stress factor for plants. We have assumed that it might influence the plant tolerance to other stressful factors. To test this, Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings were grown on a horizontal clinostat (2 rpm) or under stationary conditions (control), and then were subjected to heat treatment. The kinetics of gene expression of cytosolic HSP70s and HSP90s during exposure to 37°C for 0.5-2 h was examined by RT-qPCR to estimate level of the heat shock reaction. It was shown that clinorotation caused the minor increase in transcript abundance of five AtHSP70s and AtHSP90-1 under normal temperature, as well as a faster onset and enhancement of their induction during heat shock. The heat tolerance was evaluated as a function of seedling survival after exposure to 45°C for 45 min. Seedlings grown under clinorotation were determined to withstand heat treatment better than seedlings grown under stationary conditions. The obtained data support the assumption that clinorotation may provide cross-protection of plants against fluctuations in environmental conditions.

Keywords

  • Clinorotation
  • Stress
  • Heat Shock Proteins
  • Thermotolerance

Research Article

Open Access

Self-Assembly of Protein Fibrils in Microgravity

Published Online: 20 Jul 2020
Page range: 10 - 26

Abstract

Abstract

Deposits of insoluble protein fibrils in human tissue are associated with amyloidosis and neurodegenerative diseases. Different proteins are involved in each disease; all are soluble in their native conformation in vivo, but by molecular self-assembly, they all form insoluble protein fibril deposits with a similar cross β-sheet structure. This paper reports the results of an experiment in molecular self-assembly carried out in microgravity on the International Space Station (ISS). The Self-Assembly in Biology and the Origin of Life (SABOL) experiment was designed to study the growth of lysozyme fibrils in microgravity. Lysozyme is a model protein that has been shown to replicate the aggregation processes of other amyloid proteins. Here the design and performance of the experimental hardware is described in detail. The flight experiment was carried to the ISS in the Dragon capsule of the SpaceX CRS-5 mission and returned to Earth after 32 days. The lysozyme fibrils formed in microgravity aboard the ISS show a distinctly different morphology compared to fibrils formed in the ground-control (G-C) experiment. The fibrils formed in microgravity are shorter, straighter, and thicker than those formed in the laboratory G-C experiment. For two incubation periods, (2) about 8.5 days and (3) about 14.5 days, the average ISS and G-C fibril diameters are respectively: Period2DISS=7.5nm±31%,andDGC=3.4nm±31%Period3DISS=6.2nm±33%,andDGC=3.6nm±33%.\matrix{{Period\,2} \hfill & {} \hfill & {{D_{ISS}} = 7.5{\rm{nm}} \pm 31\% ,} \hfill \cr {} \hfill & {\rm and} \hfill & {{D_{G - C}} = 3.4{\rm{nm}} \pm 31\%} \hfill \cr {Period\,3} \hfill & {} \hfill & {{D_{ISS}} = 6.2{\rm{nm}} \pm 33\% ,} \hfill \cr {} \hfill & {\rm and} \hfill & {{D_{G - C}} = 3.6{\rm{nm}} \pm 33\% .}}

Keywords

  • Microgravity
  • Self-Assembly
  • Protein
  • Protein Fibrils
  • Protein Fibril Morphology
  • Atomic Force Microscopy
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases
  • NanoLab
  • International Space Station
Open Access

Levels of Acid Sphingomyelinase (ASM) in Caenorhabditis elegans in Microgravity

Published Online: 20 Jul 2020
Page range: 27 - 36

Abstract

Abstract

Both Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) patients and astronauts in spaceflight suffer from muscle atrophy. Previous research suggests that the enzyme acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) may be involved in the pathogenesis of ALS, but it is not known if ASM influences muscle atrophy in microgravity. In this study, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) were exposed to microgravity conditions on the International Space Station (ISS) within the confines of a Fluid Mixing Enclosure (FME). Return of the FME yielded 72,050 live nematodes, the first demonstration of C. elegans survival of space travel in an FME. After the nematodes returned to Earth, in much larger numbers than seen in previous FME experiments, the size and ASM expression levels in experimental worms were compared to control Earth-bound worms. C. elegans that returned from the ISS were larger in both length and cross-sectional area than the control worms, and they exhibited decreased expression of ASM-1 and ASM-2 proteins. Further research must be conducted to elucidate the role of ASM in muscle atrophy, as there were many limitations to this study. Understanding the role of ASM in muscle atrophy may lead to the discovery of novel targets for treatment of both ALS and muscle atrophy in microgravity. This study was a student led initiative and undertaken as a project within the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), under the auspices of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education.

Keywords

  • Muscle Atrophy
  • Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP)
  • Fluid Mixing Enclosure System (FME)
  • International Space Station (ISS)
  • Sphingomyelinase
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Open Access

Investigation of Zebrafish Larvae Behavior as Precursor for Suborbital Flights: Feasibility Study

Published Online: 20 Jul 2020
Page range: 37 - 57

Abstract

Abstract

Suborbital spaceflights, carrying scientific payloads, allow scientists not only to test the feasibility of their payloads, but they also provide the basis for refining scientific hypotheses to be later tested on the International Space Station (ISS). Therefore, it is essential to establish robust pre-flight procedures in order to take advantage of this unique research platform to facilitate payload delivery. In the present study, we assessed zebrafish larvae behavior as a precursor for the future suborbital spaceflight involving research on the musculoskeletal system. Zebrafish larvae were exposed to the same physiological stressors they would encounter during suborbital spaceflight: alterations in light, thermal, and centrifugation conditions. Their behavioral responses were analyzed using the DanioVision (Noldus) behavioral tracking system. Our results showed that zebrafish were most active when kept in a dark environment as measured by swim distance. Also, thermal alterations revealed that zebrafish larvae adapted well to the different temperatures ranging from 25°C to 32°C with the highest levels of locomotor activity observed at 32°C. Finally, the centrifugation tests demonstrated that although zebrafish were exhausted initially, their recovery process was short, lasting for approximately five minutes. Taken together, our findings support the hypothesis that using zebrafish larvae is a feasible model for future suborbital flights. Thus, the lessons learned allow us to propel this research with more refined and realistic procedures as a precursor for orbital flights to the ISS and to cislunar space.

Keywords

  • Zebrafish Larvae Locomotor Motion
  • Suborbital
  • Physiological Stressors
  • Muscle Atrophy
Open Access

Chronic Exposure to Altered Gravity During the Pregnancy-to-Lactation Transition Affects Abundance of Cytoskeletal Proteins in the Rat Mammary Gland

Published Online: 20 Jul 2020
Page range: 58 - 72

Abstract

Abstract

The mammogenic, lactogenic, and lactopoetic effects of prolactin (PRL) in the mammary gland are mediated through a specific cytokine receptor, the PRL-receptor (PRLR). PRLR is anchored to the cytoskeleton and its activation, and subsequent signal transduction, is dependent on an integral/intact cytoskeletal organization. Previous studies revealed a down-regulation of PRLR and reduced metabolic output in the mammary gland of rats exposed to hypergravity (HG). Therefore, the objective of this study was to use quantitative immunohistochemistry to determine the effects of HG exposure during pregnancy on the pre- and postpartum abundance of the cytoskeletal proteins in the rat mammary gland. Pregnant rats were exposed to either 2xg [HG] or 1xg [Stationary control (SC)] from days 11 to 20 of gestation (G20) through postpartum days 1 (P1) and 3 (P3). Spectral characterization and quantitation of each antigen (actin, tubulin, cytokeratin, and vimentin) per lobule (n=3–7 lobules/micrograph; 4 micrographs/slide) was computed using the CRi Nuance multispectral system. At G20 and P3, increased (p<0.001) amounts of actin, tubulin, cytokeratin, and vimentin were detected in HG rats. Tubulin, cytokeratin, and vimentin were overexpressed (p<0.01) in HG group compared to SC at P1. These results suggest that atypical composition of cytoskeletal proteins contribute to the aberrant lactogenic signal transduction and associated reduced postpartum mammary metabolic output in rats exposed to altered inertial environment.

Keywords

  • Rat
  • Mammary Gland
  • Gravity
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Lactation
  • Pregnancy
  • Immunohistochemistry
5 Articles

Short Communications

Open Access

Clinorotation Affects Induction of the Heat Shock Response in Arabidopsis thaliana Seedlings

Published Online: 20 Jul 2020
Page range: 2 - 9

Abstract

Abstract

Clinorotation used to simulate microgravity effects in ground-based experiments is considered as a mild stress factor for plants. We have assumed that it might influence the plant tolerance to other stressful factors. To test this, Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings were grown on a horizontal clinostat (2 rpm) or under stationary conditions (control), and then were subjected to heat treatment. The kinetics of gene expression of cytosolic HSP70s and HSP90s during exposure to 37°C for 0.5-2 h was examined by RT-qPCR to estimate level of the heat shock reaction. It was shown that clinorotation caused the minor increase in transcript abundance of five AtHSP70s and AtHSP90-1 under normal temperature, as well as a faster onset and enhancement of their induction during heat shock. The heat tolerance was evaluated as a function of seedling survival after exposure to 45°C for 45 min. Seedlings grown under clinorotation were determined to withstand heat treatment better than seedlings grown under stationary conditions. The obtained data support the assumption that clinorotation may provide cross-protection of plants against fluctuations in environmental conditions.

Keywords

  • Clinorotation
  • Stress
  • Heat Shock Proteins
  • Thermotolerance

Research Article

Open Access

Self-Assembly of Protein Fibrils in Microgravity

Published Online: 20 Jul 2020
Page range: 10 - 26

Abstract

Abstract

Deposits of insoluble protein fibrils in human tissue are associated with amyloidosis and neurodegenerative diseases. Different proteins are involved in each disease; all are soluble in their native conformation in vivo, but by molecular self-assembly, they all form insoluble protein fibril deposits with a similar cross β-sheet structure. This paper reports the results of an experiment in molecular self-assembly carried out in microgravity on the International Space Station (ISS). The Self-Assembly in Biology and the Origin of Life (SABOL) experiment was designed to study the growth of lysozyme fibrils in microgravity. Lysozyme is a model protein that has been shown to replicate the aggregation processes of other amyloid proteins. Here the design and performance of the experimental hardware is described in detail. The flight experiment was carried to the ISS in the Dragon capsule of the SpaceX CRS-5 mission and returned to Earth after 32 days. The lysozyme fibrils formed in microgravity aboard the ISS show a distinctly different morphology compared to fibrils formed in the ground-control (G-C) experiment. The fibrils formed in microgravity are shorter, straighter, and thicker than those formed in the laboratory G-C experiment. For two incubation periods, (2) about 8.5 days and (3) about 14.5 days, the average ISS and G-C fibril diameters are respectively: Period2DISS=7.5nm±31%,andDGC=3.4nm±31%Period3DISS=6.2nm±33%,andDGC=3.6nm±33%.\matrix{{Period\,2} \hfill &#x00026; {} \hfill &#x00026; {{D_{ISS}} = 7.5{\rm{nm}} \pm 31\% ,} \hfill \cr {} \hfill &#x00026; {\rm and} \hfill &#x00026; {{D_{G - C}} = 3.4{\rm{nm}} \pm 31\%} \hfill \cr {Period\,3} \hfill &#x00026; {} \hfill &#x00026; {{D_{ISS}} = 6.2{\rm{nm}} \pm 33\% ,} \hfill \cr {} \hfill &#x00026; {\rm and} \hfill &#x00026; {{D_{G - C}} = 3.6{\rm{nm}} \pm 33\% .}}

Keywords

  • Microgravity
  • Self-Assembly
  • Protein
  • Protein Fibrils
  • Protein Fibril Morphology
  • Atomic Force Microscopy
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases
  • NanoLab
  • International Space Station
Open Access

Levels of Acid Sphingomyelinase (ASM) in Caenorhabditis elegans in Microgravity

Published Online: 20 Jul 2020
Page range: 27 - 36

Abstract

Abstract

Both Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) patients and astronauts in spaceflight suffer from muscle atrophy. Previous research suggests that the enzyme acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) may be involved in the pathogenesis of ALS, but it is not known if ASM influences muscle atrophy in microgravity. In this study, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) were exposed to microgravity conditions on the International Space Station (ISS) within the confines of a Fluid Mixing Enclosure (FME). Return of the FME yielded 72,050 live nematodes, the first demonstration of C. elegans survival of space travel in an FME. After the nematodes returned to Earth, in much larger numbers than seen in previous FME experiments, the size and ASM expression levels in experimental worms were compared to control Earth-bound worms. C. elegans that returned from the ISS were larger in both length and cross-sectional area than the control worms, and they exhibited decreased expression of ASM-1 and ASM-2 proteins. Further research must be conducted to elucidate the role of ASM in muscle atrophy, as there were many limitations to this study. Understanding the role of ASM in muscle atrophy may lead to the discovery of novel targets for treatment of both ALS and muscle atrophy in microgravity. This study was a student led initiative and undertaken as a project within the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), under the auspices of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education.

Keywords

  • Muscle Atrophy
  • Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP)
  • Fluid Mixing Enclosure System (FME)
  • International Space Station (ISS)
  • Sphingomyelinase
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Open Access

Investigation of Zebrafish Larvae Behavior as Precursor for Suborbital Flights: Feasibility Study

Published Online: 20 Jul 2020
Page range: 37 - 57

Abstract

Abstract

Suborbital spaceflights, carrying scientific payloads, allow scientists not only to test the feasibility of their payloads, but they also provide the basis for refining scientific hypotheses to be later tested on the International Space Station (ISS). Therefore, it is essential to establish robust pre-flight procedures in order to take advantage of this unique research platform to facilitate payload delivery. In the present study, we assessed zebrafish larvae behavior as a precursor for the future suborbital spaceflight involving research on the musculoskeletal system. Zebrafish larvae were exposed to the same physiological stressors they would encounter during suborbital spaceflight: alterations in light, thermal, and centrifugation conditions. Their behavioral responses were analyzed using the DanioVision (Noldus) behavioral tracking system. Our results showed that zebrafish were most active when kept in a dark environment as measured by swim distance. Also, thermal alterations revealed that zebrafish larvae adapted well to the different temperatures ranging from 25°C to 32°C with the highest levels of locomotor activity observed at 32°C. Finally, the centrifugation tests demonstrated that although zebrafish were exhausted initially, their recovery process was short, lasting for approximately five minutes. Taken together, our findings support the hypothesis that using zebrafish larvae is a feasible model for future suborbital flights. Thus, the lessons learned allow us to propel this research with more refined and realistic procedures as a precursor for orbital flights to the ISS and to cislunar space.

Keywords

  • Zebrafish Larvae Locomotor Motion
  • Suborbital
  • Physiological Stressors
  • Muscle Atrophy
Open Access

Chronic Exposure to Altered Gravity During the Pregnancy-to-Lactation Transition Affects Abundance of Cytoskeletal Proteins in the Rat Mammary Gland

Published Online: 20 Jul 2020
Page range: 58 - 72

Abstract

Abstract

The mammogenic, lactogenic, and lactopoetic effects of prolactin (PRL) in the mammary gland are mediated through a specific cytokine receptor, the PRL-receptor (PRLR). PRLR is anchored to the cytoskeleton and its activation, and subsequent signal transduction, is dependent on an integral/intact cytoskeletal organization. Previous studies revealed a down-regulation of PRLR and reduced metabolic output in the mammary gland of rats exposed to hypergravity (HG). Therefore, the objective of this study was to use quantitative immunohistochemistry to determine the effects of HG exposure during pregnancy on the pre- and postpartum abundance of the cytoskeletal proteins in the rat mammary gland. Pregnant rats were exposed to either 2xg [HG] or 1xg [Stationary control (SC)] from days 11 to 20 of gestation (G20) through postpartum days 1 (P1) and 3 (P3). Spectral characterization and quantitation of each antigen (actin, tubulin, cytokeratin, and vimentin) per lobule (n=3–7 lobules/micrograph; 4 micrographs/slide) was computed using the CRi Nuance multispectral system. At G20 and P3, increased (p<0.001) amounts of actin, tubulin, cytokeratin, and vimentin were detected in HG rats. Tubulin, cytokeratin, and vimentin were overexpressed (p<0.01) in HG group compared to SC at P1. These results suggest that atypical composition of cytoskeletal proteins contribute to the aberrant lactogenic signal transduction and associated reduced postpartum mammary metabolic output in rats exposed to altered inertial environment.

Keywords

  • Rat
  • Mammary Gland
  • Gravity
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Lactation
  • Pregnancy
  • Immunohistochemistry

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