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Life Sciences in Space Research

O V Avercheva, Yu A Berkovich, I O Konovalova, S G Radchenko, S N Lapach, E M Bassarskaya, G V Kochetova, T V Zhigalova, O S Yakovleva, I G Tarakanov
The aim of this work were to choose a quantitative optimality criterion for estimating the quality of plant LED lighting regimes inside space greenhouses and to construct regression models of crop productivity and the optimality criterion depending on the level of photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD), the proportion of the red component in the light spectrum and the duration of the duty cycle (Chinese cabbage Brassica сhinensis L. as an example). The properties of the obtained models were described in the context of predicting crop dry weight and the optimality criterion behavior when varying plant lighting parameters...
November 2016: Life Sciences in Space Research
M Kákona, O Ploc, D Kyselová, J Kubančák, R Langer, K Kudela
Recently, many efforts have appeared to routinely measure radiation exposure (RE) of aircraft crew due to cosmic rays (CR). On the other hand real-time CR data measured with the ground based neutron monitors (NMs) are collected worldwide and available online. This is an opportunity for comparison of long-term observations of RE at altitudes of about 10km, where composition and energy spectra of secondary particles differ from those on the ground, with the data from NMs. Our contribution presents examples of such type of comparison...
November 2016: Life Sciences in Space Research
Chiara La Tessa, Michael Sivertz, I-Hung Chiang, Derek Lowenstein, Adam Rusek
The NASA Space Radiation Laboratory (NSRL) is a multidisciplinary center for space radiation research funded by NASA and located at the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton NY. Operational since 2003, the scope of NSRL is to provide ion beams in support of the NASA Humans in Space program in radiobiology, physics and engineering to measure the risk and ameliorate the effect of radiation in space. Recently, it has also been recognized as the only facility in the U.S. currently capable of contributing to heavy ion radiotherapy research...
November 2016: Life Sciences in Space Research
Manabu Sugimoto, Youko Oono, Yoshihiro Kawahara, Oleg Gusev, Masahiko Maekawa, Takashi Matsumoto, Margarita Levinskikh, Vladimir Sychev, Natalia Novikova, Anatoly Grigoriev
Rice seeds were exposed outside of the international space station to assess the risk of space environment exposure on gene expression associated with seed germination. The germination percentages of the space-stored and ground-stored seeds exposed for 13 months were 48 and 96% respectively. Those for 20 months were 7 and 76%, respectively. Germination was defined 3 days after imbibition, except for the space-stored seeds exposed for 20 months, which germinated 5 days after imbibition. Subsequent RNA-seq analyses of the dry seeds, germinated seeds, and roots and shoots of seedlings revealed that the mutation rates of mRNA sequences were not significantly different between space-stored and ground-stored samples exposed for 13 months and 20 months...
November 2016: Life Sciences in Space Research
Matteo Cerri, Walter Tinganelli, Matteo Negrini, Alexander Helm, Emanuele Scifoni, Francesco Tommasino, Maximiliano Sioli, Antonio Zoccoli, Marco Durante
Hibernation is a state of reduced metabolic activity used by some animals to survive in harsh environmental conditions. The idea of exploiting hibernation for space exploration has been proposed many years ago, but in recent years it is becoming more realistic, thanks to the introduction of specific methods to induce hibernation-like conditions (synthetic torpor) in non-hibernating animals. In addition to the expected advantages in long-term exploratory-class missions in terms of resource consumptions, aging, and psychology, hibernation may provide protection from cosmic radiation damage to the crew...
November 2016: Life Sciences in Space Research
Francis A Cucinotta, Nobuyuki Hamada, Mark P Little
Previous analysis has shown that astronauts have a significantly lower standardized mortality ratio for circulatory disease mortality compared to the U.S. population, which is consistent with the rigorous selection process and healthy lifestyles of astronauts, and modest space radiation exposures from past space missions. However, a recent report by Delp et al. estimated the proportional mortality ratio for ages of 55-64 y of Apollo lunar mission astronauts to claim a high risk of cardiovascular disease due to space radiation compared to the U...
August 2016: Life Sciences in Space Research
Joseph M Caswell, Manraj Singh, Michael A Persinger
Previous research investigating the potential influence of geomagnetic factors on human cardiovascular state has tended to converge upon similar inferences although the results remain relatively controversial. Furthermore, previous findings have remained essentially correlational without accompanying experimental verification. An exception to this was noted for human brain activity in a previous study employing experimental simulation of sudden geomagnetic impulses in order to assess correlational results that had demonstrated a relationship between geomagnetic perturbations and neuroelectrical parameters...
August 2016: Life Sciences in Space Research
Jenifer N Saldanha, Santosh Pandey, Jo Anne Powell-Coffman
As we seek to recognize the opportunities of advanced aerospace technologies and spaceflight, it is increasingly important to understand the impacts of hypergravity, defined as gravitational forces greater than those present on the earth's surface. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been established as a powerful model to study the effects of altered gravity regimens and has displayed remarkable resilience to space travel. In this study, we investigate the effects of short-term and defined hypergravity exposure on C...
August 2016: Life Sciences in Space Research
Bent Ehresmann, Donald M Hassler, Cary Zeitlin, Jingnan Guo, Jan Köhler, Robert F Wimmer-Schweingruber, Jan K Appel, David E Brinza, Scot C R Rafkin, Stephan I Böttcher, Sönke Burmeister, Henning Lohf, Cesar Martin, Eckart Böhm, Daniel Matthiä, Günther Reitz
The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) started its 253-day cruise to Mars on November 26, 2011. During cruise the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD), situated on board the Curiosity rover, conducted measurements of the energetic-particle radiation environment inside the spacecraft. This environment consists mainly of galactic cosmic rays (GCRs), as well as secondary particles created by interactions of these GCRs with the spacecraft. The RAD measurements can serve as a proxy for the radiation environment a human crew would encounter during a transit to Mars, for a given part of the solar cycle, assuming that a crewed vehicle would have comparable shielding...
August 2016: Life Sciences in Space Research
D Chuard, V Anthonipillai, R Dendale, C Nauraye, E Khan, C Mabit, L De Marzi, L Narici
Particle therapy provides an opportunity to study the human response to space radiation in ground-based facilities. On this basis, a study of light flashes analogous to astronauts' phosphenes reported by patients undergoing ocular proton therapy has been undertaken. The influence of treatment parameters on phosphene generation was investigated for 430 patients treated for a choroidal melanoma at the proton therapy centre of the Institut Curie (ICPO) in Orsay, France, between 2008 and 2011. 60% of them report light flashes, which are predominantly (74%) blue...
August 2016: Life Sciences in Space Research
Richard A Britten, Vania D Miller, Melissa M Hadley, Jessica S Jewell, Evangeline Macadat
NASA is currently conducting ground based experiments to determine whether the radiation environment that astronauts will encounter on deep space missions will have an impact on their long-term health and their ability to complete the various tasks during the mission. Emerging data suggest that exposure of rodents to mission-relevant HZE radiation doses does result in the impairment of various neurocognitive processes. An essential part of mission planning is a probabilistic risk assessment process that takes into account the likely incidence and severity of a problem...
August 2016: Life Sciences in Space Research
P Zabel, M Bamsey, D Schubert, M Tajmar
The cultivation of higher plants occupies an essential role within bio-regenerative life support systems. It contributes to all major functional aspects by closing the different loops in a habitat like food production, CO2 reduction, O2 production, waste recycling and water management. Fresh crops are also expected to have a positive impact on crew psychological health. Plant material was first launched into orbit on unmanned vehicles as early as the 1960s. Since then, more than a dozen different plant cultivation experiments have been flown on crewed vehicles beginning with the launch of Oasis 1, in 1971...
August 2016: Life Sciences in Space Research
Samy El-Jaby
A recent paper published in Life Sciences in Space Research (El-Jaby and Richardson, 2015) presented estimates of the secondary neutron ambient and effective dose equivalent rates, in air, from surface altitudes up to suborbital altitudes and low Earth orbit. These estimates were based on MCNPX (LANL, 2011) (Monte Carlo N-Particle eXtended) radiation transport simulations of galactic cosmic radiation passing through Earth's atmosphere. During a recent review of the input decks used for these simulations, a systematic error was discovered that is addressed here...
June 2016: Life Sciences in Space Research
T P Dachev, B T Tomov, Yu N Matviichuk, Pl G Dimitrov, N G Bankov
The R3DR2 instrument performed measurements in the European Space Agency (ESA) EXPOSE-R2 platform outside the Russian "Zvezda" module of the International Space Station (ISS) in the period 24 October 2014-11 January 2016. It is the Liulin-type deposited energy spectrometer (DES) (Dachev et al., 2015a). Took place in November 2014, this was the first attempt to monitor a small solar energetic particle (SEP) event outside ISS using the Liulin-type DES (Dachev et al., 2015d). In this study, we describe the dosimetric characteristics of the largest SEP event, observed on 22 June 2015 with the R3DR2 instrument outside ISS...
June 2016: Life Sciences in Space Research
Tony C Slaba, John W Wilson, Francis F Badavi, Brandon D Reddell, Amir A Bahadori
A computationally efficient 3DHZETRN code with enhanced neutron and light ion (Z ≤ 2) propagation was recently developed for complex, inhomogeneous shield geometry described by combinatorial objects. Comparisons were made between 3DHZETRN results and Monte Carlo (MC) simulations at locations within the combinatorial geometry, and it was shown that 3DHZETRN agrees with the MC codes to the extent they agree with each other. In the present report, the 3DHZETRN code is extended to enable analysis in ray-trace geometry...
June 2016: Life Sciences in Space Research
John W Wilson, Tony C Slaba, Francis F Badavi, Brandon D Reddell, Amir A Bahadori
The 3DHZETRN code, with improved neutron and light ion (Z≤2) transport procedures, was recently developed and compared to Monte Carlo (MC) simulations using simplified spherical geometries. It was shown that 3DHZETRN agrees with the MC codes to the extent they agree with each other. In the present report, the 3DHZETRN code is extended to enable analysis in general combinatorial geometry. A more complex shielding structure with internal parts surrounding a tissue sphere is considered and compared against MC simulations...
June 2016: Life Sciences in Space Research
Thomas Graham, Raymond Wheeler
The objective of this study was to evaluate root restriction as a tool to increase volume utilization efficiency in spaceflight crop production systems. Bell pepper plants (Capsicum annuum cv. California Wonder) were grown under restricted rooting volume conditions in controlled environment chambers. The rooting volume was restricted to 500ml and 60ml in a preliminary trial, and 1500ml (large), 500ml (medium), and 250ml (small) for a full fruiting trial. To reduce the possible confounding effects of water and nutrient restrictions, care was taken to ensure an even and consistent soil moisture throughout the study, with plants being watered/fertilized several times daily with a low concentration soluble fertilizer solution...
June 2016: Life Sciences in Space Research
Jacob Raber, Sydney J Weber, Amy Kronenberg, Mitchell S Turker
The space radiation environment includes energetic charged particles that may impact behavioral and cognitive performance. The relationship between the dose and the ionization density of the various types of charged particles (expressed as linear energy transfer or LET), and cognitive performance is complex. In our earlier work, whole body exposure to (28)Si ions (263 MeV/n, LET=78keV/μm; 1.6 Gy) affected contextual fear memory in C57BL/6J × DBA2/J F1 (B6D2F1) mice three months following irradiation but this was not the case following exposure to (48)Ti ions (1 GeV/n, LET=107keV/μm; 0...
June 2016: Life Sciences in Space Research
Jian Wang, Xiangming Zhang, Ping Wang, Xiang Wang, Alton B Farris, Ya Wang
Unlike terrestrial ionizing radiation, space radiation, especially galactic cosmic rays (GCR), contains high energy charged (HZE) particles with high linear energy transfer (LET). Due to a lack of epidemiologic data for high-LET radiation exposure, it is highly uncertain how high the carcinogenesis risk is for astronauts following exposure to space radiation during space missions. Therefore, using mouse models is necessary to evaluate the risk of space radiation-induced tumorigenesis; however, which mouse model is better for these studies remains uncertain...
June 2016: Life Sciences in Space Research
Deepa M Sridharan, Aroumougame Asaithamby, Steve R Blattnig, Sylvain V Costes, Paul W Doetsch, William S Dynan, Philip Hahnfeldt, Lynn Hlatky, Yared Kidane, Amy Kronenberg, Mamta D Naidu, Leif E Peterson, Ianik Plante, Artem L Ponomarev, Janapriya Saha, Antoine M Snijders, Kalayarasan Srinivasan, Jonathan Tang, Erica Werner, Janice M Pluth
Robust predictive models are essential to manage the risk of radiation-induced carcinogenesis. Chronic exposure to cosmic rays in the context of the complex deep space environment may place astronauts at high cancer risk. To estimate this risk, it is critical to understand how radiation-induced cellular stress impacts cell fate decisions and how this in turn alters the risk of carcinogenesis. Exposure to the heavy ion component of cosmic rays triggers a multitude of cellular changes, depending on the rate of exposure, the type of damage incurred and individual susceptibility...
June 2016: Life Sciences in Space Research
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