The International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory is gearing up to launch several payloads to the orbiting laboratory on SpaceX’s 17th commercial resupply services (CRS) mission. Learn about some of the exciting ISS National Lab-sponsored investigations included on this mission in this video from popular science content publisher Seeker.
The video discusses a Genes in Space experiment from a team of Minnesota high school students aiming to study how microgravity affects the mechanisms of DNA repair. Through the Genes in Space program, founded by Boeing and miniPCR and supported by the ISS National Lab, students in grades 7 through 12 compete to send their DNA experiments to the ISS. For their experiment, the student team from Minnesota will use a mini PCR (polymerase chain reaction) machine to amplify DNA and then sequence the DNA using the MinION sequencing tool onboard the space station.
In the video, Seeker also highlights four innovative tissue chip experiments launching to the ISS National Lab on this mission. These investigations are funded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), through its joint Tissue Chips in Space initiative with the ISS National Lab. The investigations use tissue chips, small devices engineered to grow human cells on an artificial scaffold to model the structure and function of human tissues and organs, with the goal of improving human health on Earth. In microgravity, tissue chips have the potential to accelerate pathways for understanding the mechanisms behind disease and developing new treatments. For example, an investigation from Emulate, Inc. is using a tissue chip model to study the blood-brain barrier to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms behind nerodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Keep up to date on the latest launch information on the ISS National Lab SpaceX CRS-17 launch page!