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Y Chen, Kevin K Lehmann, Y Peng, L M Pratt, J R White, S B Cadieux, B Sherwood Lollar, G Lacrampe-Couloume, T C Onstott
In this study, near-infrared continuous wave cavity ring-down spectroscopy was applied to the measurement of the δ(2)H of methane (CH4). The cavity ring-down spectrometer (CRDS) system consisted of multiple DFB laser diodes to optimize selection of spectral line pairs. By rapidly switching measurements between spectral line peaks and the baseline regions, the long-term instrumental drift was minimized, substantially increasing measurement precision. The CRDS system coupled with a cryogenic pre-concentrator measured the δ(2)H of terrestrial atmospheric CH4 from 3 standard liters of air with a precision of ±1...
October 2016: Astrobiology
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
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
Richard L Hughson, Nicholas J Yee, Danielle K Greaves
BACKGROUND: Elevated ambient Pco2 in the International Space Station (ISS) has been cited as a potential contributor to the vision impairment intracranial pressure syndrome (VIIP), a significant health risk for astronauts during long-duration space missions. The elevation in ambient Pco2 is rather modest and normal respiratory compensation could minimize the impact on arterial Pco2. METHODS: In nine male astronauts, breaths measured prior to a rebreathing maneuver were examined to assess inspired and end-tidal Pco2 during upright seated preflight and in-flight conditions...
2016: Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance
Robert A Mulcahy, Rebecca S Blue, Johnené L Vardiman, Tarah L Castleberry, James M Vanderploeg
INTRODUCTION: Anxiety may present challenges for commercial spaceflight operations, as little is known regarding the psychological effects of spaceflight on laypersons. A recent investigation evaluated measures of anxiety during centrifuge-simulated suborbital commercial spaceflight, highlighting the potential for severe anxiousness to interrupt spaceflight operations. METHODS: To pave the way for future research, an extensive literature review identified existing knowledge that may contribute to formation of interventions for anxiety in commercial spaceflight...
2016: Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance
Michael A Williams, Jan Malm, Anders Eklund, Nicholas J Horton, Susan E Voss
BACKGROUND: A noninvasive method to monitor changes in intracranial pressure (ICP) is required for astronauts on long-duration spaceflight who are at risk of developing the Visual Impairment/Intracranial Pressure syndrome that has some, but not all of the features of idiopathic intracranial hypertension. We assessed the validity of distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) to detect changes in ICP. METHODS: Subjects were eight patients undergoing medically necessary diagnostic cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) infusion testing for hydrocephalus...
2016: Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance
Otmar Bock, Nils Bury
INTRODUCTION: To flip a switch "down," our motor system can normally rely on concordant visual, gravitational, and egocentric cues about the vertical. However, divers must sometimes perform this task while visual cues are limited and gravitational cues are misaligned with egocentric cues. Astronauts must also flip switches "down" in absence of gravitational cues. Our study evaluates this ability using a laboratory simulation. METHODS: The subjects were 24 healthy volunteers who were blindfolded, tilted into different angles of roll, and asked to silence an alarm by flipping a switch "down...
2016: Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance
Ravikumar Hosamani, Ryan Leib, Shilpa R Bhardwaj, Christopher M Adams, Sharmila Bhattacharya
Altered gravity conditions, such as experienced by organisms during spaceflight, are known to cause transcriptomic and proteomic changes. We describe the proteomic changes in whole adult Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly) but focus specifically on the localized changes in the adult head in response to chronic hypergravity (3 g) treatment. Canton S adult female flies (2 to 3 days old) were exposed to chronic hypergravity for 9 days and compared with 1 g controls. After hypergravity treatment, either whole flies (body + head) or fly-head-only samples were isolated and evaluated for quantitative comparison of the two gravity conditions using an isobaric tagging liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry approach...
October 10, 2016: Journal of Proteome Research
Hironobu Morita, Chikara Abe, Kunihiko Tanaka
The vestibular system is known to have an important role in controlling blood pressure upon posture transition (vestibulo-cardiovascular reflex, VCR). However, under a different gravitational environment, the sensitivity of the vestibular system may be altered. Thus, the VCR may become less sensitive after spaceflight because of orthostatic intolerance potentially induced by long-term exposure to microgravity. To test this hypothesis in humans, we investigated the ability of the VCR to maintain blood pressure upon head-up tilt before and after a 4-6 months stay on the International Space Station...
2016: Scientific Reports
Ellen E Higginson, James E Galen, Myron M Levine, Sharon M Tennant
Space exploration programs have long been interested in the effects of spaceflight on biology. This research is important not only in its relevance to future deep space exploration, but also because it has allowed investigators to ask questions about how gravity impacts cell behavior here on Earth. In the 1980s, scientists designed and built the first rotating wall vessel, capable of mimicking the low shear environment found in space. This vessel has since been used to investigate growth of both microorganisms and human tissue cells in low shear modeled microgravity conditions...
November 2016: Pathogens and Disease
Raktim Roy, P Phani Shilpa, Sangram Bagh
UNLABELLED: Bacteria are important organisms for space missions due to their increased pathogenesis in microgravity that poses risks to the health of astronauts and for projected synthetic biology applications at the space station. We understand little about the effect, at the molecular systems level, of microgravity on bacteria, despite their significant incidence. In this study, we proposed a systems biology pipeline and performed an analysis on published gene expression data sets from multiple seminal studies on Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium under spaceflight and simulated microgravity conditions...
September 2016: Astrobiology
George C Brainard, Laura K Barger, Robert R Soler, John P Hanifin
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The review addresses the development of a new solid-state lighting system for the International Space Station (ISS) that is intended to enhance the illumination of the working and living environment of astronauts and to improve sleep, circadian entrainment, and daytime alertness. RECENT FINDINGS: Spaceflight missions often expose astronauts and mission support ground crews to atypical sleep-wake cycles and work schedules. A recent, extensive study describes the sleep characteristics and use of sleep-promoting pharmaceuticals in astronauts before, during, and after spaceflight...
November 2016: Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine
J S Willey, A T Kwok, J E Moore, V Payne, C A Lindburg, S A Balk, J Olson, P J Black, M C Walb, R R Yammani, M T Munley
There is little known about the effect of both reduced weight bearing and exposure to radiation during spaceflight on the mechanically-sensitive cartilage lining the knee joint. In this study, we characterized cartilage damage in rat knees after periods of reduced weight bearing with/without exposure to solar-flare-relevant radiation, then cartilage recovery after return to weight bearing. Male Sprague Dawley rats (n = 120) were either hindlimb unloaded (HLU) via tail suspension or remained weight bearing in cages (GROUND)...
September 7, 2016: Radiation Research
Peng Yuan, Vincent Koppelmans, Patricia A Reuter-Lorenz, Yiri E De Dios, Nichole E Gadd, Scott J Wood, Roy Riascos, Igor S Kofman, Jacob J Bloomberg, Ajitkumar P Mulavara, Rachael D Seidler
Head-down tilt bed rest (HDBR) has been used as a spaceflight analog to simulate the effects of microgravity exposure on human physiology, sensorimotor function, and cognition on Earth. Previous studies have reported that concurrent performance of motor and cognitive tasks can be impaired during space missions. Understanding the consequences of HDBR for neural control of dual tasking may possibly provide insight into neural efficiency during spaceflight. In the current study, we evaluated how dual task performance and the underlying brain activation changed as a function of HDBR...
2016: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
Lei Zhao, Ying Gao, Dong Mi, Yeqing Sun
To identify the potential biomarkers associated with space flight, a combined algorithm, which integrates the feature selection techniques, was used to deal with the microarray datasets of Caenorhabditis elegans obtained in the Shenzhou-8 mission. Compared with the ground control treatment, a total of 86 differentially expressed (DE) genes in responses to space synthetic environment or space radiation environment were identified by two filter methods. And then the top 30 ranking genes were selected by the random forest algorithm...
September 2016: Mutation Research
Dennis K Fix, Justin P Hardee, Ted A Bateman, James A Carson
Muscle irradiation (IRR) exposure can accompany unloading during spaceflight or cancer treatment, and this has been shown to be sufficient by itself to induce skeletal muscle signaling associated with a remodeling response. Although protein kinase B/Akt has an established role in the regulation of muscle growth and metabolism, there is a limited understanding of how Akt signaling in unloaded skeletal muscle is affected by IRR. Therefore, we examined the combined effects of acute IRR and short-term unloading on muscle Akt signaling...
October 1, 2016: Journal of Applied Physiology
Li-Fan Zhang, Shu Zhang
It has been shown that the minimum gravity exposure requirements vary greatly among different physiological systems. A preliminary comparison between two extremes, vessels vs. bones, shows that not only the mechanostat at the tissue level differs greatly, but also the bone loss during weightlessness may also involve calcium deposition-resorption changes. It seems that the surprising efficacy of intermittent artificial gravity (IAG) is due to the vascular tissues possessing a strong resilience or "memory" function toward restoring their original pre-stress and tensegrity state at the 1 G environment...
August 25, 2016: Sheng Li Xue Bao: [Acta Physiologica Sinica]
B R Macias, F Lima, J M Swift, Y Shirazi-Fard, E S Greene, M R Allen, J Fluckey, H A Hogan, L Braby, Suojin Wang, S A Bloomfield
Exploration missions to the Moon or Mars will expose astronauts to galactic cosmic radiation and low gravitational fields. Exposure to reduced weightbearing and radiation independently result in bone loss. However, no data exist regarding the skeletal consequences of combining low-dose, high-linear energy transfer (LET) radiation and partial weightbearing. We hypothesized that simulated galactic cosmic radiation would exacerbate bone loss in animals held at one-sixth body weight (G/6) without radiation exposure...
September 2016: Radiation Research
Suzanne M Schneider, Stuart M C Lee, Alan H Feiveson, Donald E Watenpaugh, Brandon R Macias, Alan R Hargens
Leg muscle mass and strength are decreased during reduced activity and non-weight-bearing conditions such as bed rest (BR) and spaceflight. Supine treadmill exercise within lower body negative pressure (LBNPEX) provides full-body weight loading during BR and may prevent muscle deconditioning. We hypothesized that a 40-min interval exercise protocol performed against LBNPEX 6 days week(-1) would attenuate losses in leg lean mass (LLM), strength, and endurance during 6° head-down tilt BR, with similar benefits for men and women...
August 2016: Physiological Reports
Anne Camirand, David Goltzman, Ajay Gupta, Mohammadi Kaouass, Dibyendu Panda, Andrew Karaplis
Prolonged skeletal unloading through bedrest results in bone loss similar to that observed in elderly osteoporotic patients, but with an accelerated timeframe. This rapid effect on weight-bearing bones is also observed in astronauts who can lose up to 2% of their bone mass per month spent in Space. Despite the important implications for Spaceflight travelers and bedridden patients, the exact mechanisms involved in disuse osteoporosis have not been elucidated. Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) regulates many physiological processes including skeletal development, and has been proposed as a mechanosensor...
2016: PloS One
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