That’s a Wrap - September
Each month, the International Space Station focuses on an area of research. In September, the research focus was biology, encompassing cells, plants, animals, genetics, biochemistry, human physiology and more.
Benefits from this research are vast and include: combating diseases, reducing our environmental footprint, feeding the world’s population and developing cleaner energy.
Here’s a recap of some topics we studied this month:
Scientists studied T-cells in orbit to better understand how human immune systems change as they age. For an immune cell, the microgravity environment mimics the aging process. Because spaceflight-induced and aging-related immune suppression share key characteristics, researchers expect the results from this study will be relevant for the general population.
NASA to Napa
We raised a glass to the space station to toast how the study of plants in space led to air purification technology that keeps the air clean in wine cellars and is also used in homes and medical facilities to help prevent mold.
This month also marked the halfway point of the One-Year Mission. NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly and Roscosmos Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko reached the midpoint on Sept. 15. This mission will result in valuable data about human health and the effects of microgravity on the body.
Since microbes can threaten crew health and jeopardize equipment, scientists study them on astronauts’ skin and aboard the space station. Samples like saliva, blood, perspiration and swaps of equipment are collected to determine how microgravity, environment, diet and stress affect the microorganisms.
Model organisms have characteristics that allow them to easily be maintained, reproduced and studied in a laboratory. Scientists investigate roundworms, medaka fish and rodents on the station because of this reason. They can also provide insight into the basic cellular and molecular mechanisms of the human body.
For more information about research on the International Space Station, go HERE.
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