The Next Phase of Life-Sciences Spaceflight Research: Harnessing the Power of Functional Genomics
News Apr 02, 2012
Spaceflight appears to induce metabolic changes in all species yet studied, many of which are suggested to have detrimental consequences for crew health and performance. These (mal)adaptations represent a major obstacle preventing the worlds’ space agencies from safely achieving their common goal of sending humans on long duration deep-space exploratory missions, and ultimately the human habitation of other planetary bodies. To overcome this obstacle we must first understand the molecular mechanisms regulating spaceflight-induced alterations and, second, utilize this knowledge to effectively target efforts to develop therapeutic strategies.
This article is published online in Communicative and Integrative Biology and is free to access.
Animal venoms are the subject of study at research center based at the Butantan Institute in São Paulo. But in this case, the idea is not to find antidotes, but rather to use the properties of the venoms themselves to identify molecular targets of diseases and, armed with that knowledge, develop new compounds that can be used as medicines.