NanoRacks-Heart Effect Analysis Research Team conducting FLy Investigations and Experiments in Spaceflight (NanoRacks-Heart Flies) - 11.19.14

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery
ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Space flight can have harmful effects on astronauts’ cardiovascular systems, including changes in heart rhythms and functions. Fruit flies living on the International Space Station help scientists understand the potential long-term risks. Several hundred Drosophila flies, which are used to study a wide range of health issues, are spending 30 days in orbit before returning to Earth for further study. The NanoRacks-Heart Effect Analysis Research Team conducting FLy Investigations and Experiments in Spaceflight (NanoRacks-HEART FLIES) investigation is the first to establish the Drosophila as a model organism for studying cardiac function and health in space flight.
 

Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending



The following content was provided by Peter H. Lee, M.D., M.P.H., M.S, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.

Experiment Details

OpNom NanoRacks Module-26

Principal Investigator(s)

  • Peter H. Lee, M.D., M.P.H., M.S, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, United States

  • Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
    Information Pending
    Developer(s)
    NanoRacks, LLC, Webster, TX, United States

    Sponsoring Space Agency
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

    Sponsoring Organization
    National Laboratory (NL)

    Research Benefits
    Scientific Discovery, Space Exploration

    ISS Expedition Duration
    March 2014 - September 2014

    Expeditions Assigned
    39/40

    Previous ISS Missions
    Information Pending

    ^ back to top



    Experiment Description

    Research Overview

    • The detrimental effects of space flight on the cardiovascular system are well known. It is believed that these effects may lead to clinically significant risks to crewmembers on long duration space missions as well as to the success of these missions themselves. Current studies are limited primarily to human studies and rodent experiments. However, these model systems have significant limitations that may be addressed by using the well-established Drosophila model. Drosophila has previously been successfully launched into space and a ground-based Drosophila model for cardiac disease and function has been developed.

    • The Drosophila model has yet to be used for studying the effects of space flight on the cardiovascular system. The development of such a model would be a potentially significant advancement in the study and understanding of how space flight affects the cardiovascular system, and ultimately lead to countermeasures to prevent them.

    Description
    The NanoRacks-Heart Effect Analysis Research Team conducting FLy Investigations and Experiments in Spaceflight (NanoRacks-HEART-FLIES) experiment flies up to 16 groups of 25-30 Drosophila (fruit flies) to the International Space Station (ISS), but remaining in the transport vehicle as a sortie.  In all, it experiences approximately 30 days on-orbit. The Drosophila are housed in a NanoRacks 1.5 CU (10 cm by 10 cm by 15 cm) NanoRacks Module and is self-sufficient, requiring no crewmember interaction during the flight. The samples are retrieved post-flight and analyzed using a system for analyzing fly heart function, morphology, and gene expression developed at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute. The hypothesis studied is that space flight results in significant deficits in cardiac function including decreases in contractility, increases in cardiac arrhythmias, and alterations in cardiac morphology such as myofibrillar dysfunction.  After the completion of the experiment, the results are presented at national scientific meetings and submitted for publication in appropriate high profile, peer-reviewed scientific journals. These experiments are of utmost scientific importance, as they are the first to establish the Drosophila as a model for studying cardiac disease and function in space flight and it addresses one of the areas of highest research priority for the future of long duration human space flight.

    ^ back to top



    Applications

    Space Applications

    Astronauts experience changes to their cardiovascular systems while in space, but the nature of these changes have not been well-studied in humans or in other animals. Understanding how the microgravity environment affects heart health helps physicians develop more effective countermeasures for long-duration missions. Additionally, the Heart Flies investigation validates Drosophila as a model organism for microgravity research.
     

    Earth Applications

    Methodologies for the treatment of cardiovascular. 

    ^ back to top



    Operations

    Operational Requirements
    This is a Sortie investigation.  New crew interaction is required.

    Operational Protocols
    This is a Sortie investigation.  New crew interaction is required.

    ^ back to top



    Results/More Information
    Information Pending

    ^ back to top



    Related Websites

    ^ back to top



    Imagery

    image NanoRacks-HEART FLIES tubes with growth media inside.  Image courtesy of NanoRacks LLC.
    + View Larger Image


    image Rendering of the NanoRacks Module-26 containing the NanoRacks-HEART FLIES investigation.  Image courtesy of NanoRacks LLC.
    + View Larger Image