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NASA GeneLab: Open Science for Life in SpaceThe NASA GeneLab project capitalizes on multi-omic technologies to maximize the return on spaceflight experiments. To do this, GeneLab maintains a publicly accessible database (GLDS) that houses spaceflight and spaceflight relevant multi-omics data and collaborates with NASA principal investigators and projects to generate additional omics data. GeneLab houses more than 350 transcriptomic, proteomic, metabolomic and epigenomic datasets from plant, animal and microbial experiments, with a growing number of these having been produced by the GeneLab Sequencing Lab. The GLDS contains rich metadata about each experiment and has integrated radiation dosimetry data from experiments flown on the Space Shuttle, International Space Station, and Free Flying spacecrafts.
With the increasing amount and complexity of omics data being generated, GeneLab utilizes community-defined, common models for metadata and terminology so that omics data and results are discoverable and reliably reproducible. GeneLab uses the ISA-Tab specification and semantic model for organizing and representing omics metadata. In addition to metadata standards, data files must be open-source file or common exchange formats to ensure accessibility and usability by all users. To ease data ingestion and transfer, the web-based submission tool allows PIs a user-friendly user interface to curate, organize, and publish their space relevant omics data. In the more recent years, data curation and submission portal has incorporated the FAIR principles making data findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable.
To increase reusability of data, GeneLab has implemented an effort to present processed data in the GLDS in addition to the raw omics data. The processed data will enable interpretation of the data by a larger group of students, scientists and the general public. Standard pipelines for the transformation of raw data into visualizations were developed by four GeneLab Analysis Working Groups (animals, plants, microbes, multi-omics) comprised of over 200 scientists from NASA, industry, and academia. To explore the data, the GLDS provides users various tools for data analysis, collaborative workspace for file storage and sharing, and a visualization portal. The analysis platform built using the Galaxy toolshed provides access to a broad variety of users including those with limited bioinformatics experience and students to learn how to analyze spaceflight omics data. The visualization portal takes GeneLab one step closer to data democratization by removing all bioinformatics requisites to interpret transcriptomics data hosted in the repository. To train the next generation of scientists, NASA offers training programs such as GeneLab 4 High School (GL4HS) and GeneLab 4 Universities.
NLM Curation at a Scale Workshop 2022 | NASA GeneLab
(GL4U) to teach students bioinformatics and computational biology methods to analyze omics data. Discoveries made using GeneLab have begun and will continue to deepen our understanding of biology, advance the field of genomics, and help to discover cures for diseases, create better diagnostic tools, and ultimately allow astronauts to better withstand the rigors of long-duration spaceflight.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Ames Research Center
Document Type
Kristen Peach
(Bionetics (United States) Yorktown, Virginia, United States)
San-Huei Lai Polo
(KBR (United States) Houston, Texas, United States)
Samrawit Gebre
(Ames Research Center Mountain View, California, United States)
Date Acquired
March 25, 2022
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Meeting Information
Meeting: NLM Curation at Scale Workshop
Location: Virtual
Country: US
Start Date: March 28, 2022
End Date: March 30, 2022
Sponsors: United States National Library of Medicine
Funding Number(s)
WBS: 719125.
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
Technical Review
Single Expert
Space Biology
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