MIL-OSI USA: Ames Research Center Democratizes Space Biosciences Research with First Commercial Astronaut Data

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Source: NASA

Background: To protect astronauts from spaceflight health risks like solar radiation and microgravity, scientists develop countermeasures by studying model organisms exposed to the space environment. For the first time, commercial astronaut data from the Inspiration4 (I4) mission has been collected for open-access research in an effort led by Weill Cornell Medicine. ARC’s Open Science Data Repository (OSDR) hosts this data for public use. Facilitated by the OSDR, data from the all-civilian crew enables researchers to validate decades of model organism research and make vital discoveries from biospecimens of humans. The OSDR’s Analysis Working Groups (AWGs), comprised of researchers from around the globe, collaborate to maximize the scientific value of space omics data.
Main Findings: On June 11, 44 scientific publications, including 32 authored by members of the AWG community and the OSDR team, were prominently featured in the Space Omics and Medical Atlas (SOMA) package of publications in Nature Press. The collection of articles greatly expands our knowledge of how space travel affects humans by addressing questions about the transcriptomic, epigenomic, cellular, microbiome, and mitochondrial alterations observed during spaceflight. Results and best practices from these articles collectively inform SOMA, which provides a standardized approach to spaceflight related research (Figure).
Impact: The AWG studies featured in these publications leverage the I4 data alongside other OSDR data to pioneer novel discoveries and formulate new hypotheses aimed at uncovering systemic biological responses during spaceflight. Historically, AWG collaborations have led to numerous scientific presentations at conferences, publications in high-impact journals, and the introduction of many new and more diverse researchers into the field.