NanoRacks-The Investigation of Countermeasures to Modulate and Augment the Immune System (NanoRacks-ISS University Research (UR) - 1) - 11.22.16
Crew members are exposed to radiation and microgravity during space missions, which harms their immune systems and causes other negative health effects. NanoRacks-The Investigation of Countermeasures to Modulate and Augment the Immune System (NanoRacks-ISS University Research (UR)-1) studies a chemical compound that fights some of these ill effects by enhancing immune cells. The immune-boosting compound, called benzofuran-2-carboxylic acid, also shows promise for improving treatment in cancer patients on Earth. Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending Experiment Details
OpNom: NanoRacks Module-9 Ext (S/N 1001)
Alamelu Sundaresan, Ph.D., Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, United States
Karla-Sue C. Marriott, Ph.D., Savannah State University, Savannah, GA, United States
Richard Wilkins, Ph.D., Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, TX, United States
Jinghe Mao, Ph.D., Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, MS, United States
Shakhawat Bhuiyan, Ph.D., Jarvis Christian College, Hawkins, TX, United States
NanoRacks LLC, Webster, TX, United States
Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)
ISS Expedition Duration
March 2014 - September 2014
- Microgravity and radiation exposure experienced during space flights result in immune system suppression.
- NanoRacks-The Investigation of Countermeasures to Modulate and Augment the Immune System (NanoRacks-ISS University Research (UR) – 1) is contributory toward the development of solutions to immune system and radiation risks that have plagued NASA and its crew members for years and includes the study of the effects of radiation and microgravity in these phenomena since they are the most significant impediments to humans on long term exploration missions.
- The initial findings on the efficacy of these compounds reveal inhibitive properties for cancer cell proliferation and restorative properties for immune cells exposed to radiation. Further, preliminary results indicated that the combination of benzofuran-2-carboxylic acid derivatives with radiation significantly enhanced the killing of lymphoblastoid cells (TK6) more effectively in comparison to synthetic benzofuran-2-carboxylic acid derivatives alone or radiation alone. These findings support the potential use of the compounds in the treatment of cancer and the restoration of the immune system.
Drugs made from a chemical known as benzofuran-2-carboxylic acid could be used to enhance astronauts’ immune systems during spaceflight. Previous research shows the chemical could be used to boost immune cells that were exposed to simulated microgravity and radiation. A drug that could counteract these negative effects would benefit current and future space missions.
Previous research on benzofuran-2-carboxylic acid shows that drugs derived from this chemical compound could suppress cancer cells and increase immune cells. More detailed research on these compounds may someday improve cancer treatment on Earth.
Operational Requirements and Protocols
Decadal Survey Recommendations
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Ground Based Results Publications
Sundaresan A, Pellis NR. Cellular and Genetic Adaptation in Low-gravity Environments . Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 2009 April; 1161(1): 135-146. DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04085.x.
Zwieb C, Bhuiyan S. Archaea Signal Recognition Particle Shows the Way. Archaea. 2010; 2010: 1-11. DOI: 10.1155/2010/485051.
Hada M, Gersey B, Saganti PB, Wilkins R, Cucinotta FA, Wu H. mBAND analysis of chromosome aberrations in human epithelial cells induced by γ-rays and secondary neutrons of low dose rate. Mutation Research - Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis. 2010 August 14; 701(1): 67-74. DOI: 10.1016/j.mrgentox.2010.03.009. PMID: 20338263.
Martinelli LK, Russomano T, dos Santos MA, Falcao FP, Bauer ME, Machado A, Sundaresan A. Effect of microgravity on immune cell viability and proliferation. IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine. 2009 July; 28(4): 85-90. DOI: 10.1109/MEMB.2009.933572.
Marriott KC, Bartee R, Morrison AZ, Stewart L, Wesby J. Expedited Synthesis of Benzofuran-2-Carboxylic Acids via Microwave-Assisted Perkin Rearrangement Reaction. Tetrahedron Letters. 2012 June 27; 53(26): 3319-3321. DOI: 10.1016/j.tetlet.2012.04.075.
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