Spectrum Instrument Captures Images of Fluorescent Proteins Expressed in Biological Cells

Spectrum showing blue excitation light-emitting diodes (LEDs) (left) and green excitation LEDs (right).

Understanding which genes are expressed in biological cells is key to understanding how biological organisms respond and adapt to the stresses of spaceflight.

This knowledge will help future space researchers select or genetically engineer plants for survival in space - a critical component for crop production during long-duration space missions or settlements on the moon or Mars.

The Spectrum Multi-Spectral Fluorescence Imager provides Space Biology researchers with a new, valuable capability for studying the effects of microgravity on gene expression. Under microgravity conditions, specific genes in biological organisms are activated or deactivated.

The activated genes produce fluorescent proteins that can be identified using the Spectrum imaging system. The Spectrum color filter wheel can be used to detect a variety of different fluorescent proteins within a single biological specimen.

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