Amyloid formation in the International Space Station
by Staff Writers
Tokyo, Japan (SPX) Jun 17, 2020
Amyloids, abnormal fibrillar aggregates of proteins, are associated with various disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Therefore, an in-depth understanding of the mechanisms of amyloid formation is critical for developing clinical strategies and drugs against these diseases. However, accumulating evidence suggests that amyloid formation processes and the consequent morphology of fibrils can be affected by various environmental factors.
This is an obstacle for the integrative understanding of the mechanisms underlying amyloid formations. As gravity causes convectional perturbations in the microenvironments surrounding amyloid fibrils in solution, it may unavoidably affect the processes of molecular assembling.
To test this possibility, the collaborative research team of Japan, involving Exploratory Research Center on Life and Living Systems (ExCELLS), Institute for Molecular Science (IMS), and National Institute for Physiological Sciences (NIPS) of National Institutes of Natural Sciences, Nagoya City University (NCU), and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), characterized amyloid formation under microgravity conditions using the International Space Station (ISS).
They compared the fibril formation of Alzheimer's disease-related amyloid B (AB) proteins on the ISS with that on the Earth and found that the process of AB fibrillization significantly slowed down in the microgravity environment.
Furthermore, distinct morphologies of AB fibrils were formed on the ISS. Therefore, the project highlights the utility of the ISS as an ideal experimental environment for investigating the mechanisms of amyloid formation without uncontrollable perturbations caused by gravity, thereby providing fundamental insights into the pathological amyloid formation.
High School Students Build Lockers for Trip to the International Space Station
Houston TX (SPX) Jun 12, 2020
Pulling that final zipper closed on a stuffed suitcase or getting the tailgate of a packed car shut is a true feeling of victory at the start of any road trip. Sending supplies to the International Space Station-including on NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 test flight that launched the first astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley on SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule May 30 from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida-requires a different packing method and special lockers to transport supplies. Four such loc ... read more
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