HERO Twin Astronaut Study Consortium (TASC):  Immunome Changes in Space (Twins Study - Mignot) - 11.22.16

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): Immunome Changes in Space (Twins Study - Mignot) characterizes the personalized changes in the immune system of an astronaut, as well as that system’s response to a seasonal flu vaccination, before, during, and after return to Earth; the study compares the results to those of his twin brother who remained on Earth, and looks at how they relate to the various changes noted by other Twins Study investigators.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Emmanuel J. Mignot, M.D, Ph.D., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom:

Principal Investigator(s)
Emmanuel J. Mignot, M.D, Ph.D., Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, United States

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Mark M. Davis, Ph.D., Stanford University, Stanford, CA, United States
Michael Snyder, Ph.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
Information Pending

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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): Immunome Changes in Space (Twins Study - Mignot) studies how long-term space travel affects the immune system.
  • This investigation also examines how parameters of the immune system change at baseline and after a seasonal flu vaccination with spaceflight as compared to a ground-based control.

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 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): Immunome Changes in Space (Twins Study - Mignot) portion of the overall Twins Study investigation focuses on changes in the immune system associated with the year-long ISS mission in the space- and earth-bound twin astronauts. This study characterizes personalized changes in baseline immune abnormalities and stimulated immune response in the presence of a trivalent, inactivated, flu vaccination (a safe and benign intervention available over the counter in the US) in space and after return to Earth, as compared to a ground-based control.

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Applications

Space Applications
The immune system is weakened in space, posing a heightened risk of infection for crew members on long-duration missions. This investigation examines how the immune system changes after a seasonal flu vaccine, both in space and on the ground. Results are expected to improve the understanding of how humans adapt to spaceflight and could lead to better countermeasures to protect crew health.

Earth Applications
Environmental stress, radiation and diet can cause chemical changes in the body that affect the immune system, as well as cognitive function, metabolism, gut flora, and genetics. This investigation studies how the immune system changes when an astronaut is exposed to a physically challenging environment and how immune response to a seasonal flu vaccination differs between the twin who was in space and the one who remained on Earth. This information 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

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites
Main Twins Study

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Imagery