Status Report

NASA Spaceline Current Awareness List # 956 2 July 2021 (Space Life Science Research Results)

By SpaceRef Editor
July 2, 2021
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SPACELINE Current Awareness Lists are distributed via listserv and are available on the NASA Task Book website at Please send any correspondence to Shawna Byrd, SPACELINE Current Awareness Senior Editor,
In case you missed it: Teams successfully 3D print vascularized liver tissue to win NASA’s vascular tissue challenge. This news article by J. J. Han in Artificial Organs ( covers the winners of first and second place in NASA’s Vascular Tissue Challenge. From the abstract: “Organ regenerative techniques will be important to study and treat diseases on Earth, and eventually in space. Scientists from Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine have successfully printed vascularized 3D Liver tissue that was viable for 30 days.” Further reading is available at
Papers deriving from NASA support:
Stahl-Rommel S, Li D, Sung M, Li R, Vijayakumar A, Atabay KD, Bushkin GG, Castro CL, Foley KD, Copeland DS, Castro-Wallace SL, Alvarez Saavedra E, Gleason EJ, Kraves S.
A CRISPR-based assay for the study of eukaryotic DNA repair onboard the International Space Station.
PLoS One. 2021 Jun 30;16(6):e0253403.
Note: ISS results. Using CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology to create precise damage to DNA strands, a novel method for studying how yeast cells repair damaged DNA in space is successfully developed and demonstrated onboard the International Space Station. More information is available at This article may be obtained online without charge.
Journal Impact Factor: 2.740
Funding: “This study was funded by miniPCR bio and Boeing.” Sarah L. Castro-Wallace is affiliated with NASA Johnson Space Center.
Desai RI, Kangas BD, Limoli CL.
Nonhuman primate models in the study of spaceflight stressors: Past contributions and future directions.
Life Sci Space Res. 2021 Aug;30:9-23. Review.
Note: From the abstract: “This review is structured to: a) provide an overarching view of the past contributions of NHPs [nonhuman primates] to spaceflight research as well as the strengths, limitations, and translational value of NHP research in its own right and within the existing context of NASA-relevant rodent research; b) highlight specific conclusions based on the published literature and areas needed for future endeavors; c) describe critical research gaps and priorities in NHP research to facilitate NASA’s efforts to bridge the key knowledge gaps that currently exist in translating rodent data to humans; and d) provide a roadmap of recommendations for NASA regarding the availability, validity, strengths, and limitations of various NHP models for future targeted research.”
Journal Impact Factor: 2.453
Funding: “This work was supported by contract TXS0147017, awarded to the first author from KBRwyle/National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), NASA Johnson Space Center.”
Morrison MD, Thissen JB, Karouia F, Mehta S, Urbaniak C, Venkateswaran K, Smith DJ, Jaing C.
Investigation of spaceflight induced changes to astronaut microbiomes.
Front Microbiol. 2021 Jun 2;12:659179.
PIs: K. Venkateswaran, C. Jaing, C. Urbaniak, NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellowship
Note: ISS results. This article may be obtained online without charge.
Journal Impact Factor: 4.235
Funding: “MM, JT, and CJ were funded by NASA Space Biology under contract #: 80NSSC18K0113. Part of the research described in this publication was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA. This research was funded by a 2014 Space Biology NNH14ZTT002N grant no. 19-12829-38 under Task Order NNN13D111T award to KV, which also partially funded post-doctoral fellowship for CU. In addition, Space Biology program sponsored NPP post-doc for CU. SM were funded by NASA Space Biology under contract #: 80NSSC18K0113. DS was funded by NASA Ames Space Biology program. FK was supported through the KBRwyle/FILMSS subcontract with the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of California, San Francisco, # NNA14AB82C, at NASA Ames Research Center. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.”
Greenwald SH, Macias BR, Lee SMC, Marshall-Goebel K, Ebert DJ, Liu JHK, Ploutz-Snyder RJ, Alferova IV, Dulchavsky SA, Hargens AR, Stenger MB, Laurie SS.
Intraocular pressure and choroidal thickness respond differently to lower body negative pressure during spaceflight.
J Appl Physiol (1985). 2021 Jun 24. Online ahead of print.
PIs: S. A. Dulchavsky, A. R. Hargens, M. B. Stenger
Note: ISS results. From the abstract: “Spaceflight associated neuro-ocular syndrome (SANS) develops during long-duration (>1 month) spaceflight presumably because of chronic exposure to a headward fluid shift that occurs in weightlessness. We aimed to determine whether reversing this headward fluid shift with acute application of lower body negative pressure (LBNP) can influence outcome measures at the eye.”
Journal Impact Factor: 3.044
Funding: “Supported by NASA’s Human Research Program grants NNJ11ZSA002NA (MBS), NNX13AK30G (SAD), and NNX13AJ12G (ARH).”
Salazar AP, Hupfeld KE, Lee JK, Banker LA, Tays GD, Beltran NE, Kofman IS, De Dios YE, Mulder E, Bloomberg JJ, Mulavara AP, Seidler RD.
Visuomotor adaptation brain changes during a spaceflight analog with elevated carbon dioxide (CO2): A pilot study.
Front Neural Circuits. 2021 Jun 7;15:659557.
PI: R. D. Seidler
Note: Head-down tilt bed rest study. This article is part of the Research Topic “Brains in Space: Effects of Spaceflight on the Human Brain and Behavior” ( Additional articles will be forthcoming and may be found in the link to the Research Topic. This article may be obtained online without charge.
Journal Impact Factor: 3.156
Funding: “This work was supported by grants from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; NNX11AR02G and 80NSSC17K0021) to RS, AM, and JB. Additionally, during completion of this work, KH was supported by a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship under Grant nos. DGE-1315138 and DGE-1842473, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) training grant T32-NS082128, and National Institute on Aging fellowship 1F99AG068440.”
Brown LS, St. Hilaire MA, McHill AW, Phillips AJK, Barger LK, Sano A, Czeisler CA, Doyle FJ 3rd, Klerman EB.
A classification approach to estimating human circadian phase under circadian alignment from actigraphy and photometry data.
J Pineal Res. 2021 May 29:e12745. Online ahead of print.
PI: M. A. St. Hilaire
Journal Impact Factor: 14.528
Funding: “National Institutes of Health, Grant/Award Number: T32-HL007901, R01GM105018, R00HL119618, K24HL105664, K01HL146992, P01AG009975, F32DK107146 and R21-NR018974; Harvard Catalyst and NIH, Grant/Award Number: 1UL1TR001102; NEC Corporation; National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Grant/Award Number: 80NSSC20K0576; MIT Media Lab; Samsung.”
Other papers of interest:
Hayashi T, Kudo T, Fujita R, Fujita SI, Tsubouchi H, Fuseya S, Suzuki R, Hamada M, Okada R, Muratani M, Shiba D, Suzuki T, Warabi E, Yamamoto M, Takahashi S.
Nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (NRF2) deficiency accelerates fast fibre type transition in soleus muscle during space flight.
Commun Biol. 2021 Jun 24;4(1):787.
Note: ISS results. From the introduction: “In the current study, we used Nrf2-knockout (KO) mice to study the direct function of NRF2 in soleus muscle adaptation during FL [flight]. We adopted the Mouse Habitat Unit (MHU) to launch and manage genetically engineered animals with advanced technology in space. Results show that the soleus muscle mass, as well as the size of each fiber type, decreased at a rate that was almost identical between wild-type (WT) and KO mice after FL.” This article may be obtained online without charge.
Belyaeva AG, Kudrin VS, Koshlan IV, Koshlan NA, Isakova MD, Bogdanova YV, Timoshenko GN, Krasavin EA, Blokhina TM, Yashkina EI, Osipov AN, Nosovsky AN, Perevezentsev AA, Shtemberg AS.
Effects of combined exposure to modeled radiation and gravitation factors of the interplanetary flight: Monkeys’ cognitive functions and the content of monoamines and their metabolites; cytogenetic changes in peripheral blood lymphocytes.
Life Sci Space Res. 2021 Aug;30:45-54.
Note: 7-day antiorthostatic hypokinesia was used in this study.
Kaschubek D.
Optimized crop growth area composition for long duration spaceflight.
Life Sci Space Res. 2021 Aug;30:55-65.
Note: From the abstract: “This paper presents an optimized composition of crop growth areas for biological life support systems with respect to nutrition and equivalent system mass. For this purpose, crop growth area compositions from literature are compared with compositions derived from an optimization algorithm. The optimization algorithm uses literature data for crop growth rates and crop nutrient content to minimize the required crop growth area required to supply all nutrients for a human.”
Wu X, Yin Y, Liu J, Zhu Y, Fan Q, Zhao S, Wang J, Gao J, Liu Y, Jiao L, Li Y.
Baoyuan Jieyu Formula ameliorates depression-like behaviour in rats induced by simulated long-term spaceflight composite stress through regulating MAPK and BDNF pathways.
Life Sci Space Res. 2021 Jun 6. Online ahead of print.
Note: The method of spaceflight simulation is not evident in the available abstract. From the abstract: “During space flight, astronauts are exposed to various influences of extreme environments and susceptible to develop depression-like behaviour. Thus, this study aims to explore the molecular biological mechanism of the cause of depression-like behaviour and reveal the effect of Baoyuan Jieyu Formula (BYJYF) on ameliorating depression-like behavior. Here, rats exposed to simulated long-term spaceflight composite stress (LSCS) reduced the sucrose preference rate (P<0.01), and the time of forced swimming immobility and the number of climbing times were also reduced (P<0.01, P<0.001)."
Rcheulishvili N, Papukashvili D, Deng Z, Wang S, Deng Y.
Simulated microgravity alters the expression of plasma SSAO and its enzymatic activity in healthy rats and increases the mortality in high-fat diet/streptozotocin-induced diabetes.
Life Sci Space Res. 2021 Aug;30:24-8.
Note: Hind-limb unloading study. From the abstract: “Semicarbazide-sensitive amine oxidase (SSAO) activity is known to be associated with certain pathologies including diabetes. In this study, SSAO expression and enzymatic activity in blood plasma of healthy rats were significantly upregulated under simulated microgravity (SMG) condition.”
Singh S, Vidyasagar PB, Kulkarni GR.
Investigating alterations in the cellular envelope of Staphylococcus aureus in simulated microgravity using a random positioning machine.
Life Sci Space Res. 2021 Aug;30:1-8.
Note: A random positioning machine was used in this study.
Tinganelli W, Luoni F, Durante M.
What can space radiation protection learn from radiation oncology?
Life Sci Space Res. 2021 Aug;30:82-95.
Zhang K, Zhang H, Yi H, Huang G, Zhao X, Yu S, Xu W.
The protective effects of 1,3-butanediol acetoacetate diester on decompression sickness in rats.
J Appl Physiol (1985). 2021 Jun 24. Online ahead of print.
Hemmatian H, Conrad S, Furesi G, Mletzko K, Krug J, Faila AV, Kuhlmann JD, Rauner M, Busse B, Jähn-Rickert K.
Reorganization of the osteocyte lacuno-canalicular network characteristics in tumor sites of an immunocompetent murine model of osteotropic cancers.
Bone. 2021 Jun 23:116074. Online ahead of print.

SpaceRef staff editor.