Genomics, Proteomics, Bioinformatics

The Space Omics and Medical Atlas (SOMA) and International Astronaut Biobank

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
Nature via PubMed
July 7, 2024
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The Space Omics and Medical Atlas (SOMA) and International Astronaut Biobank
Space Omics and Medical Atlas — NASA

Spaceflight induces molecular, cellular, and physiological shifts in astronauts and poses myriad biomedical challenges to the human body, which are becoming increasingly relevant as more humans venture into space. Yet, current frameworks for aerospace medicine are nascent and lag far behind advancements in precision medicine on Earth, underscoring the need for rapid development of space medicine databases, tools, and protocols.

Here, we present the Space Omics and Medical Atlas (SOMA), an integrated data and sample repository for clinical, cellular, and multi-omic research profiles from a diverse range of missions, including the NASA Twins Study7, JAXA CFE study SpaceX Inspiration4 crew, plus Axiom and Polaris. The SOMA resource represents a >10-fold increase in publicly available human space omics data, with matched samples available from the Cornell Aerospace Medicine Biobank.

The Atlas includes extensive molecular and physiological profiles encompassing genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and microbiome data sets, which reveal some consistent features across missions, including cytokine shifts, telomere elongation, and gene expression changes, as well as mission-specific molecular responses and links to orthologous, tissue-specific murine data sets.

Leveraging the datasets, tools, and resources in SOMA can help accelerate precision aerospace medicine, bringing needed health monitoring, risk mitigation, and countermeasures data for upcoming lunar, Mars, and exploration-class missions.

Astrobiology, Genomics,

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻