Revamping Space-omics in Europe

Pedro Madrigal, Alexander Gabel, Alicia Villacampa, Aránzazu Manzano, Colleen S Deane, Daniela Bezdan, Eugénie Carnero-Diaz, F Javier Medina, Gary Hardiman, Ivo Grosse, Nathaniel Szewczyk, Silvio Weging, Stefania Giacomello, Stephen D R Harridge, Tessa Morris-Paterson, Thomas Cahill, Willian A da Silveira, Raúl Herranz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Space science is having a new awakening with the recent launch of the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule on May 30 to the International Space Station (ISS), the NASA Perseverance Rover Mission to Mars in July, the launch in 2022 of ExoMars to search biosignatures of past Martian life, and other future human exploration missions. Many of these initiatives involve molecular biology experiments, some related to extra-terrestrial astrobiology but most to understand how radiation and microgravity affect terrestrial known forms of life in space when compared with a ground control. Among these projects are the introduction of nanopore sequencing on board of the ISS ( Castro-Wallace et al., 2017 ) and the planned creation of a new ISS stem cell laboratory to better understand some forms of hematological malignancies or neurodegenerative diseases using brain organoid technology by UC San Diego and Space Tango. This research might accelerate our understanding of many (patho)physiological processes such as cellular development, cancer, and aging. Furthermore, these experiments are necessary to ensure that the health of astronauts during long-term spaceflight is not at risk because of a depressed immune response or an increased risk of opportunistic bacterial infection ( Sonnenfeld and Shearer, 2002 ; Taylor, 2015 ), the recently uncovered mitochondrial impairment ( da Silveira et al., 2020 ), bone and muscle loss ( Collet et al., 1997 ), and possibly cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, or tumor development ( Löbrich and Jeggo, 2019 ).
Original languageEnglish
JournalCell systems
Early online date25 Nov 2020
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 25 Nov 2020

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