HERO Twin Astronaut Study Consortium (TASC) Project:  Longitudinal Integrated Multi-omics Analysis of the Biomolecular Effects of Space Travel (Twins Study - Snyder) - 09.27.17

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

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Although identical twins are genetically almost the same, differences in environment, diet and other outside factors can affect their health in different ways. The Twins Study is an integrated compilation of ten studies at multiple research centers that examines the effects of space travel on twin astronauts, one of whom stays on the International Space Station for one year while his twin remains on Earth. HERO Twin Astronaut Study Consortium (TASC) Project:  Longitudinal Integrated Multi-omics Analysis of the Biomolecular Effects of Space Travel (Twins Study – Snyder) analyzes all biomedical and molecular data collected by the other nine Twins Study researchers to produce the single most comprehensive view of how the human body responds to the rigors of spaceflight.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Michael Snyder, Ph.D., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom:

Principal Investigator(s)
Michael Snyder, Ph.D., Stanford University, Stanford, CA, United States

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Juliane Winkelmann, M.D., Stanford University, Stanford, CA, United States

Developer(s)
NASA Johnson Space Center, Human Research Program, Houston, TX, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)

Research Benefits
Earth Benefits, Scientific Discovery, Space Exploration

ISS Expedition Duration
March 2015 - September 2015

Expeditions Assigned
43/44

Previous Missions
None

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • The Twins Study provides the extraordinary opportunity to control variables of individual genetic differences, susceptibilities and lifestyle factors, making differential effects observed between the twins spaceflight-specific.
  • The HERO Twin Astronaut Study Consortium (TASC) Project: Longitudinal Integrated Multi-omics Analysis of the Biomolecular Effects of Space Travel (Twins Study – Snyder) investigation’s main objective is to perform a complete analysis of all biomedical and molecular data collected as part of the Twins Study to produce the singular most comprehensive portrait of the human biophysical response to the rigors of spaceflight.
  • Integration of the Twins Study data makes it possible to follow alterations in the twins’ cellular systems to better understand both the effects of space travel on human health, and how an astronaut’s genome may contribute to his/her own unique physiologic response to microgravity.

Description

NASA’s Human Research Program (HRP) and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute have instituted a program to compare the effects of spaceflight accumulated over one year and observe changes in the genetic makeup between twin brothers. This project initiates a pilot demonstration focusing on the use of integrated human analyses to better understand the biomolecular responses to the physical, physiological, and environmental stressors associated with spaceflight. The project emphasis is on the collection of biological specimens and psychological testing from one twin in orbit on the International Space Station (ISS) and the collection of corresponding samples and data from his twin on the ground. Sample collection and data analysis occurs before, during and after the one-year mission.
 
The HERO Twin Astronaut Study Consortium (TASC) Project: Longitudinal Integrated Multi-omics Analysis of the Biomolecular Effects of Space Travel (Twins Study – Snyder) portion of the overall Twins Study investigation focuses on a complete analysis of all biomedical and molecular data collected during the mission to produce the singular most comprehensive portrait of the human biophysical response to the rigors of spaceflight. Integration of the Twins Study data makes it possible to follow alterations in the twins’ cellular systems to better understand both the effects of space travel on human health, and how an astronaut’s genome may contribute to his/her own unique physiologic response to microgravity.

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Applications

Space Applications
Scientists who study how the human body changes in response to different conditions must control for the fact that every person is different, starting at a genetic level. Identical twins, who are genetically almost the same, are an ideal study group because major differences in their bodies are simpler to attribute to environmental conditions. This investigation analyzes changes in the biomedical and molecular data of a set of identical twins, one of whom travels into space while the other remains on Earth, to establish a benchmark for how the human body changes in space. Results are expected to help scientists better understand both how spaceflight affects human health, and how an astronaut’s genome may contribute to his or her response to microgravity conditions.

Earth Applications
Identical twins are important subjects for a wide range of human health studies, allowing scientists to learn how people with almost identical genomes respond to different conditions. The brothers in this investigation will be the most thoroughly studied twins in history. Results may prove useful in the development of new treatments and preventive measures for related health issues on Earth.

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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols


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Decadal Survey Recommendations

CategoryReference
Animal and Human Biology AH16
Behavioral and Mental Health B3

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites
Main Twins Study

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Imagery