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Lead Increment Scientist's Highlights for the First Week of March
(Highlights: First Week of March 2011) -- The daily status checks on The Effect of Space Flight on Innate Immunity to Respiratory Viral Infections (Mouse Immunology-2) -- Animal Enclosure Modules for this sortie mission were successfully completed. This experiment investigates the effects of microgravity on immune function to fight Respiratory Syncytial Virus. In microgravity, crew members experience changes in immune function. These studies will help scientists determine the biological significance of spaceflight induced changes in immune responses.

Cady Coleman performed her first session with Validation of Procedures for Monitoring Crew Member Immune Function (Integrated Immune), with samples returning on Discovery. Integrated Immune will assess the clinical risks resulting from the adverse effects of spaceflight on the human immune system and will validate a flight-compatible immune monitoring strategy. Due to blood and saliva samples returning at ambient temperature, the sessions are performed days before shuttle departure.

Scott Kelly, Cady Coleman and Paolo Nespoli completed the Spinal Elongation and its Effects on Seated Height in a Microgravity Environment (Spinal Elongation) session for Discovery's docked ops. This study provides quantitative data as to the amount of change that occurs in the seated height due to spinal elongation in microgravity. The operator measures the distance from the top of the shuttle commander seat to the top of the subject's head using an antropometer -- an instrument used to measure dimensions of the human body.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Education Payload Operation - Message in a Bottle session was completed during the first spacewalk of Discovery's mission. Astronauts Alvin Drew and Steve Bowen took a photo of the bottle while the song "Message in a Bottle" by The Police was played. Then the bottle was opened, exposing the volume to space. Upon return, this bottle will be shared with the people of Japan in a children's museum.

Jorge Sotomayor, Lead Increment Scientist
Expedition 25/26

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