new designer drugs

What Science is Launching to Space?

The tenth SpaceX cargo resupply mission launched to the International Space Station on Feb. 18, and is carrying science ranging from protein crystal growth studies to Earth science payloads. Here’s a rundown of some of the highlights heading to the orbiting laboratory.

The CASIS PCG 5 investigation will crystallize a human monoclonal antibody, developed by Merck Research Labs, that is currently undergoing clinical trials for the treatment of immunological disease. Results from this investigation have the potential to improve the way monoclonal antibody treatments are administered on Earth.

Without proteins, the human body would be unable to repair, regulate or protect itself. Crystallizing proteins provides better views of their structure, which helps scientists to better understand how they function. Often times, proteins crystallized in microgravity are of higher quality than those crystallized on Earth. LMM Biophysics 1 explores that phenomena by examining the movement of single protein molecules in microgravity. Once scientists understand how these proteins function, they can be used to design new drugs that interact with the protein in specific ways and fight disease.

Much like LMM Biophysics 1, LMM Biophysics 3 aims to use crystallography to examine molecules that are too small to be seen under a microscope, in order to best predict what types of drugs will interact best with certain kinds of proteins. LMM Biophysics 3 will look specifically into which types of crystals thrive and benefit from growth in microgravity, where Earth’s gravity won’t interfere with their formation. Currently, the success rate is poor for crystals grown even in the best of laboratories. High quality, space-grown crystals could improve research for a wide range of diseases, as well as microgravity-related problems such as radiation damage, bone loss and muscle atrophy.

Nanobiosym Predictive Pathogen Mutation Study (Nanobiosym Genes) will analyze two strains of bacterial mutations aboard the station, providing data that may be helpful in refining models of drug resistance and support the development of better medicines to counteract the resistant strains.

During the Microgravity Expanded Stem Cells investigation, crew members will observe cell growth and morphological characteristics in microgravity and analyze gene expression profiles of cells grown on the station. This information will provide insight into how human cancers start and spread, which aids in the development of prevention and treatment plans. Results from this investigation could lead to the treatment of disease and injury in space, as well as provide a way to improve stem cell production for human therapy on Earth.

The Lightning Imaging Sensor will measure the amount, rate and energy of lightning as it strikes around the world. Understanding the processes that cause lightning and the connections between lightning and subsequent severe weather events is a key to improving weather predictions and saving life and property. 

From the vantage of the station, the LIS instrument will sample lightning over a wider geographical area than any previous sensor.

Future robotic spacecraft will need advanced autopilot systems to help them safely navigate and rendezvous with other objects, as they will be operating thousands of miles from Earth. 

The Raven (STP-H5 Raven) studies a real-time spacecraft navigation system that provides the eyes and intelligence to see a target and steer toward it safely. Research from Raven can be applied toward unmanned vehicles both on Earth and in space, including potential use for systems in NASA’s future human deep space exploration.

SAGE III will measure stratospheric ozone, aerosols, and other trace gases by locking onto the sun or moon and scanning a thin profile of Earth’s atmosphere.

These measurements will allow national and international leaders to make informed policy decisions regarding the protection and preservation of Earth’s ozone layer. Ozone in the atmosphere protects Earth’s inhabitants, including humans, plants and animals, from harmful radiation from the sun, which can cause long-term problems such as cataracts, cancer and reduced crop yield.

Tissue Regeneration-Bone Defect (Rodent Research-4) a U.S. National Laboratory investigation sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, studies what prevents other vertebrates such as rodents and humans from re-growing lost bone and tissue, and how microgravity conditions impact the process. 

Results will provide a new understanding of the biological reasons behind a human’s inability to grow a lost limb at the wound site, and could lead to new treatment options for the more than 30% of the patient.

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Smart Drug Targets the Deadliest Brain Cancer for Destruction

Physicians and researchers at Houston Methodist Hospital have designed a new drug to treat patients with GBM, the most aggressive, incurable brain cancer.

“Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most aggressive brain cancer with no cure. Chemotherapy resistance has limited the use of temozolamide, a drug used to prolong the life of these patients,” said Martyn Sharpe, Ph.D., associate research professor of neurosurgery at Houston Methodist Hospital and a senior investigator on the study. “In an animal model of human brain cancer, combining the smart drug with chemotherapy prolonged life by over six fold.”

In research findings presented at the Society for Neuro-Oncology annual conference, a team of researchers led by scientist Sharpe and neurosurgeon David S. Baskin, M.D. director of the Kenneth R. Peak Brain and Pituitary Tumor Center at Houston Methodist Hospital invented a targeted way to overcome chemotherapy drug resistance and destroy the deadliest brain tumors while sparing surrounding brain tissue.

Results from the study showed that the smart drug is nontoxic in normal cells but transformed in GBM cells into a compound that blocks chemotherapy resistance, allowing for the destruction of aggressive brain cancer cells.

GBM and other brain cancers express high levels of a protein termed Monoamine oxidase B or MAOB, which converts the inactive drug into a compound that prevents chemotherapy resistance.

These results support further testing of PAM-OBG as a potential drug candidate for the treatment of patients with GBM or other cancers with high MAOB protein levels.

10 More 1 Sentence Hooks!

1. The Paladin wakes up to find a dead prostitute in their bed, and they don’t remember a thing.

2. While walking down a remote trail the party finds a baby in a basket with a note that says “It’s your problem now”.

3. The local foppish son of a lord has challenged a member of the party to a duel.

4.The party is being chased by some crooked law enforcement and the only place they can hide is the bar of one of the party’s Ex(girl/boyfriend)(Yes, Casablanca)

5. There is a new designer drug that has hit the streets, it has minimal negative effects and is not addictive, but dealers keep ending up dead.

6. A young peasant needs help wooing the duke’s daughter, he offers the location of some lost ruins as a reward.

7. Assassins keep attacking the party, they have nothing on them besides a dagger and some odd coins the players don’t recognize.

8. The dead keep appearing in this small town, several locals have litterally been scared to death.

9. Use of arcane magic is slowly driving all the mages of the kingdom insane

10. A party member receives an official letter from a magistrate telling them that someone they care about has been murdered


-deo

10

NYE Photo Project

I’m Diego and these are my friends.

I decided before we went to celebrate the new year, I wanted to take a picture of all my friends before we all got wasted. The pictures on the left are the ones before we went out. Then after we came back we decided to take a photo to see what happened to us. The results were pretty predicting to tell you the truth, but it was definitely worth seeing. 

Happy New Year Everyone!

4

NEW Sugar Drug design

⍟Buy here: [LINK]

Was chatting with a friend and I said that I get really annoying sometimes and that Sugar was my gateway drug to annoying-ness and he said that would be cool fro a shirt so heyyyyy heres a shirt you can buy ;D

Thanks Day, you made this happen huehue

SpaceX Dragon: What’s Onboard?

SpaceX is scheduled to launch its Dragon spacecraft into orbit on April 8, which will be the company’s eighth mission under our Commercial Resupply Services contract. This flight will deliver science and supplies to the International Space Station.

The experiments headed to the orbiting laboratory will help us test the use of an expandable space habitat in microgravity, assess the impact of antibodies on muscle wasting in a microgravity environment, use microgravity to seek insight into the interactions of particle flows at the nanoscale level and use protein crystal growth in microgravity to help in the design of new drugs to fight disease. Here’s an in-depth look at each of them:

The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM)

Space is in limited supply on the International Space Station, but with BEAM, the amount of crew space could be expanded! BEAM is an experimental expandable capsule that attaches to the space station. After installation, it will expand to roughly 13-feet long and 10.5 feet in diameter, which would provide a large volume where a crew member could enter. During the two-year test mission, astronauts will enter the module for a few hours three-to-four times a year to retrieve sensor data and conduct assessments of the module’s condition.

Why? Expandable habitats greatly decrease the amount of transport volume at launch for future space missions. They not only take up less room on a rocket, but also provide greatly enhanced space for living and working once they are set up.

The Rodent Research-3-Eli Lilly

The Rodent Research-3-Eli Lilly investigation will use mice as a model for human health to study whether certain drugs might prevent muscle or bone loss while in microgravity.

Why? Crew members experience significant decreases in their bone density and muscle mass during spaceflight if they do not get enough exercise during long-duration missions. The results could expand scientist’s understanding of muscle atrophy and bone loss in space, by testing an antibody that has been known to prevent muscle wasting in mice on Earth.

Microbial Observatory-1

The Microbial Observatory-1 experiment will track and monitor changes to microbial flora over time on the space station.

Why? Obtaining data on these microbial flora could help us understand how such microbes could affect crew health during future long-duration missions.

Micro-10

The Micro-10 investigation will study how the stress of microgravity triggers changes in growth, gene expression, physical responses and metabolism of a fungus called Aspergillus nidulans.

Why? This experiment will study fungi in space for the purpose of potentially developing new medicine for use both in space and on Earth. The stressfull environment of space causes changes to all forms of life, from bacteria and fungi, to animals and people.

Genes in Space-1

Genes in Space-1 is a student-designed experiment that will test whether the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) — which is a fast and relatively inexpensive technique that can amplify or “photocopy” small segments of DNA — could be used to study DNA alterations that crew experience during spaceflight.

Why? In space, the human immune system’s function is altered. Findings from this experiment could help combat some of the DNA changes that crew onboard space station experience while on orbit.

Microchannel Diffusion

Nano science and nanotechnology are the study and application of exceptionally small things and can be used across the fields of medicine, biology, computer science and many others. The way fluid moves is very different on this small scale, so scientists want to know how microparticles might interact. The Microchannel Diffusion investigation simulates these interactions by studying them at a larger scale, the microscopic level. This is only possible on the orbiting laboratory, where Earth’s gravity is not strong enough to interact with the molecules in a sample, so they behave more like they would at the nanoscale.

Why? Nanofluidic sensors could measure the air in the space station, or used to deliver drugs to specific places in the body, among other potential uses. Knowledge learned from this investigation may have implications for drug delivery, particle filtration and future technological applications for space exploration.

The CASIS Protein Crystal Growth 4 (CASIS PCG 4)

CASIS PCG 4 is made up of two investigations that both leverage the microgravity environment in the growth of protein crystals and focus on structure-based drug design (SBDD). Growing crystals in microgravity avoids some of the obstacles they face on Earth, such as sedimentation.

Why? SBDD is an integral component in the drug discovery and development process. It relies on three-dimensional, structural information provided by the protein crystallography to inform the design of more potent, effective and selective drugs.

Watch the Launch!

The Dragon capsule will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Launch coverage begins at 3:15 p.m. EDT, with launch scheduled for 4:43 p.m. Watch live online on NASA Television: nasa.gov/nasatv

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