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University Research Centers - Microbial - 1 (URC-Microbial-1)
12.05.12

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Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

Experiment Overview

This content was provided by Olufisayo Jejelowo, Ph.D., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.

Brief Summary

University Research Centers - Microbial-1 (URC-Microbial-1) evaluates morphological and molecular changes in Escheria coli and Bacillus subtilis in microgravity.

Principal Investigator(s)

  • Olufisayo Jejelowo, Ph.D., Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)

  • Abidat Lawal, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • Augustine Enongene, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • Brandi Wilson, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • Chelsea McCoy, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • Cherita Thomas, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • Deidre Sharkey, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • Georgette Rolle, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • Jerry Garcia, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • John Shoboik, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • Julie Wenah, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • Kelsey Parks, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • Kursten Berry, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • Malika Lane, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • Marvin Weatherspoon, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • Nellen Nwaobasi, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • Nina Alaniz, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • Ohunene Abogunde, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • Pamela Agina, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • Robbyn Barnett, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • Shaunte Abdin, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • Talya Thomas, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • Tashaineya Merrell, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • Tiarra Spencer, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • Tope Osiyemi, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • Y-Uyen Nguyen, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • Ayodotun O. Sodipe, Ph.D., Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • Claudette M. Ligons, Ed.D., Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • George E. Fox, Ph.D., University of Houston, Houston, TX, United States
  • Govindarajan T. Ramesh, Ph.D., Norfolk State University, Norfolk, VA, United States
  • Hector C. Miranda Jr., Ph.D., Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • James M. Briggs, Ph.D., University of Houston, Houston, TX, United States
  • Jason Rosenzweig, Ph.D., Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • Marguerite L. Butler, JD, MLS,, Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • Nader Pourmand, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • Shishir Shishodia, Ph.D., Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
  • Developer(s)

    Texas Southern University, Center for Bio-nanotechnology and Environmental Research (CBER), Houston, TX, United States
    University of Colorado at Boulder, BioServe Space Technologies, Boulder, CO, United States

    Sponsoring Space Agency

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

    Sponsoring Organization

    NASA Education (EDU)

    ISS Expedition Duration

    October 2009 - March 2010



    Expeditions Assigned

    21/22

    Previous ISS Missions

    This is the first mission for the URC-Microbial-1 investigation.

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    Experiment Description

    Research Overview

    • University Research Centers - Microbial - 1 (URC-Microbial-1) investigation is a proof-of-concept model providing space flight experience to stimulate and excite University Research Center scientists and students at Texas Southern University.


    • The experiment will involve the study of morphological and molecular changes of Escheria coli and Bacillus subtilis microbes brought about by the space flight environment.


    • Each component of the experiment is designed to be reproduced easily in the classroom providing hands-on experience to students involved.


    • Postflight repeat experiments will be conducted in schools across the nation and samples from this flight experiment will also be shared among Principal Investigators in other institutions. Texas Southern University will develop courses incorporating the data into the microbiology curriculum.

    Description

    The University Research Centers - Microbial - 1 (URC-Microbial-1) investigation was designed by the Center for Bio-nanotechnology and Environmental Research (CBER) University Research Center (URC) at Texas Southern University to evaluate both morphological and molecular changes in Escheria coli and Bacillus subtilis in microgravity. This study may yield novel data comparing morphological and molecular changes in E. coli bacteria to B. subtilis bacteria cultured at both 37 degrees C and ambient temperature (22 degrees C -24 degrees C) in space.

    Additionally, the significance of this experiment lies in its ability to involve underrepresented minority students in the design, optimization and execution of the flight experiment. This activity will provide a unique and meaningful educational experience for students at Texas Southern University and other educational institutions. As a result of URC-Microbial-1, courses will be developed enabling the URC Microbrial-1 experimental data to be worked into the curriculum as well as allowing Texas Southern University undergraduate laboratory classes (biology and microbiology) to evaluate slides of fixed specimens brought back from space. This course will create great interest in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) community-at-large and create excitement among students at Texas Southern University and other universities about space flight potentially steering them towards careers in a STEM field.

    The URC-Microbial-1 experiment will also provide the K-12 community opportunities to utilize this flight experiment as part of their classroom experience. On Earth, URC-Microbial-1 is conducted in the laboratory in near real time and the data will be made available to teachers at any point during the school year after the space flight experiments are completed. Data from the Payload Operations and Control Center will be downloaded daily while the experiment is active. The downlinked data, once received, will be uplinked to the CBER website for access by participating classrooms. Participating teachers will be provided with a teacher’s guide featuring background information, lesson plans and student activities for conducting the project in their classrooms.

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    Applications

    Space Applications

    This investigation is a part of a series of investigations to be conducted on board the ISS to provide the foundation for use of the ISS as a National Laboratory following assembly complete.

    Earth Applications

    URC-Microbial-1 identifies ways in which microorganisms impact human health and life and allow student from underrepresented minority university to?explore research careers in space and space science.

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    Operations

    Operational Requirements

    URC-Microbial-1 are monitored through the BioServe Payload Operations and Control Center at the University of Colorado - Boulder. The space flight samples are returned to Earth for analysis.

    Operational Protocols

    This research flies within a Fluid Processing Apparatus (FPA) and Group Activation Pack (GAP) hardware. Each experiment utilizes four of BioServe's GAPs each of which holds 8 FPAs. The GAPs will be located inside the CGBA which maintains the samples at 37 degrees C for the duration of the experiment. After the designated growth time periods the samples will be preserved for future morphological and molecular analysis. FPAs designated for morphological studies will be fixed using paraformaldehyde, while the FPAs for molecular analysis will be stabilized with RNAlater®.

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    Results/More Information

    Information Pending

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    Related Websites
  • Texas Southern University - Center for Bio-nanotechnology and Environmental Research
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    Imagery

    image Students in the Center for Bio-nanotechnology and Environmental Research at Texas Southern University prepare samples for the URC-Microbial-1 investigation. Image courtesy of Texas Southern University.
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    Information provided by the investigation team to the ISS Program Scientist's Office.
    If updates are needed to the summary please contact JSC-ISS-Program-Science-Group. For other general questions regarding space station research and technology, please feel free to call our help line at 281-244-6187 or e-mail at JSC-ISS-Payloads-Helpline.