International Space Station (ISS) crew members have been working on an investigation from The Michael J. Fox Foundation that recently launched to the ISS National Lab on Northrop Grumman CRS-10. The experiment aims to grow high-quality crystals of a protein called LRRK2 that is involved in Parkinson’s disease. Crystals grown in microgravity are often larger and more well-ordered than Earth-grown crystals. Higher-quality LRRK2 crystals could help researchers better understand the structure of the protein and design new drugs to treat Parkinson’s.
Learn more about this investigation in the ISS360 article “Going Beyond Earth’s Limitations to Understand Parkinson’s Disease.”
The above time-lapse video shows European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst working on the LRRK2 experiment onboard the space station. Gerst also tweeted the following about the crew’s work on the investigation.
During a recent interview from onboard the ISS (see the below NASA video), NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor described The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s investigation as one of her favorite experiments. In the video, Auñón-Chancellor says, “It’s very special for our crew to know that we are working on something as important as this—we know that this directly impacts human health.”