Mycological Evaluation of Crew Exposure to ISS Ambient Air 1 Year Mission (Myco (for 1YM)) - 07.12.17

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ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Mycological evaluation of crew exposure to ISS ambient air 1 Year Mission (Myco (1YM)) evaluates the risk of microorganisms' via inhalation and adhesion to the skin to determine which fungi act as allergens on the International Space Station (ISS).
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Chiaki Mukai, M.D., Ph.D., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Information provided courtesy of the Japan Aerospace and Exploration Agency (JAXA).
Experiment Details


Principal Investigator(s)
Chiaki Mukai, M.D., Ph.D., Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Tsukuba, Japan

Takashi Sugita, Ph.D., Meiji Pharmaceutical University, Tokyo, Japan
Takashi Q. Yamazaki, Ph.D., Japan Aerospace and Exploration Agency, Tsukuba, Japan
Takeo Miki, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency , Tsukuba, Japan
Koichi Makimura, Ph.D., M.D., Teikyo University, Tokyo, Japan
Shin Yamada, M.D., Ph.D., Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Tsukuba, Japan
Hiroshi Ohshima, M.D., Ph.D., Japan Aerospace and Exploration Agency, Ibaraki, Japan
Akira Higashibata, Ph.D., Japan Aerospace and Exploration Agency, Tsukuba, Japan
Noriaki Ishioka, Japan Aerospace and Exploration Agency, Tsukuba City, Japan

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Tsukuba, Japan

Sponsoring Space Agency
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

Sponsoring Organization
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

Research Benefits
Space Exploration, Earth Benefits, Scientific Discovery

ISS Expedition Duration
September 2015 - March 2016; March 2016 - September 2016

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • Samples are collected from the nasal cavities, the pharynx, and the skin of crew members during preflight, in flight, and postflight.
  • Analysis focuses on microflora, particularly fungi sampled from subjects, which may cause opportunistic infections and allergies if their immunity is compromised on the ISS.


From the beginning of the construction of manned spacecraft, the living environment inside is progressively contaminated by microorganisms. Environmental monitoring data of manned spacecraft indicate that a wide variety of microorganisms has been isolated from the air and inner surfaces. Some microorganisms isolated from the living environment of manned spacecraft are known as possible allergens in our living environment on the ground. Many researchers and flight surgeons have been studying the correlation between the environmental microflora inside the spacecraft, and allergic reactions or opportunistic infections. Researchers are fully aware of the risk this microbial contamination of the living environment on board poses.
Microflora on crew members who live aboard the ISS are thought to strongly reflect the ISS environment, which is a completely confined orbital living space in microgravity. The objective of the Mycological evaluation of crew exposure to ISS ambient air (Myco (1YM)) investigation is to evaluate the risk of microorganism inhalation and adhesion to skin while exposed to ambient air during stays aboard the ISS. Detailed microbial analysis is performed on these samples by both culture-based methods and the latest molecular-genetic methods.

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Space Applications
A great deal of knowledge can be gained about how environmental microflora in a spacecraft affects the microflora on crew members. The Myco (1YM) experiment is expected to support the development of effective medical countermeasures to protect crew members against microbes.

Earth Applications
Information Pending

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Operational Requirements and Protocols

Using swabs, sampling sheets and a tube, crew members collect preflight, inflight, and postflight samples of mucosal membranes from their nasal cavities and pharynx, skin samples from both cheeks and upper chest, and sputum. Sample collections are performed first thing in the morning before eating and drinking--except for drinking water, brushing the teeth, or washing their face.

Crew members themselves collect their samples from the nasal vestibules (nostrils, the most anterior part of the nasal cavities) and the pharynx with swabs, the skin of both cheeks, and the upper chest area by dressing tapes, and sputum by expectorating into a sputum tube in preflight, inflight, and postflight periods.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites

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