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Space Life Science: June 2009


Once it was established that the spaceflight environment was not a drastic impediment to plant growth, a remaining space biology question was whether long-term spaceflight exposure could cause changes in subsequent generations, even if they were returned to a normal Earth environment. In this study, we used a genomic approach to address this question. We tested whether changes in gene expression patterns occur in wheat plants that are several generations removed from growth in space, compared to wheat plants with no spaceflight exposure in their lineage. Wheat flown on Mir for 167 days in 1991 formed viable seeds back on Earth.

This is a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Research Announcement (NRA) that solicits hypothesis-driven Fundamental Space Biology (FSB) research proposals that will answer fundamental questions about how physiological systems respond to gravity, or to changes in gravity, using animal (excluding single cell organisms and cell culture) model specimens. This solicitation (NRA NNH09ZTT003N), entitled, " Research Opportunities In Space Life Sciences: Fundamental Space Biology - Animal Physiology," will be available on or about May 26, 2009, by opening the NASA Research Opportunities homepage at http://nspires.nasaprs.com/ and then linking through the menu listings "Solicitations" to "Open Solicitations."

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