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Cell Science and Cell Biology Research at MSFC: SummaryThe common theme of these research programs is that they investigate regulation of gene expression in cells, and ultimately gene expression is controlled by the macromolecular interactions between regulatory proteins and DNA. The NASA Critical Path Roadmap identifies Muscle Alterations and Atrophy and Radiation Effects as Very Serious Risks and Severe Risks, respectively, in long term space flights. The specific problem addressed by Dr. Young's research ("Skeletal Muscle Atrophy and Muscle Cell Signaling") is that skeletal muscle loss in space cannot be prevented by vigorous exercise. Aerobic skeletal muscles (i.e., red muscles) undergo the most extensive atrophy during long-term space flight. Of the many different potential avenues for preventing muscle atrophy, Dr. Young has chosen to study the beta-adrenergic receptor (betaAR) pathway. The reason for this choice is that a family of compounds called betaAR agonists will preferentially cause an increase in muscle mass of aerobic muscles (i.e., red muscle) in animals, potentially providing a specific pharmacological solution to muscle loss in microgravity. In addition, muscle atrophy is a widespread medical problem in neuromuscular diseases, spinal cord injury, lack of exercise, aging, and any disease requiring prolonged bedridden status. Skeletal muscle cells in cell culture are utilized as a model system to study this problem. Dr. Richmond's research ("Radiation & Cancer Biology of Mammary Cells in Culture") is directed toward developing a laboratory model for use in risk assessment of cancer caused by space radiation. This research is unique because a human model will be developed utilizing human mammary cells that are highly susceptible to tumor development. This approach is preferential over using animal cells because of problems in comparing radiation-induced cancers between humans and animals.
Document ID
20040073493
Document Type
Other
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
December 1, 2003
Publication Information
Publication: Biological and Physical Space Research Laboratory 2002 Science Review
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle20040073490Analytic PrimaryBiological and Physical Space Research Laboratory 2002 Science Review