development of the space frontier is one of the greatest opportunities
facing the United States. It is the growth of business in space
that will bring the benefits of space down to Earth and enrich
the everyday lives of all Americans. NASA is encouraging businesses
to seize this opportunity through its Space Product Development
Program, to ensure the continued economic growth of the United
States and to bring the opportunities for new advances, technological
understanding, products and jobs to the public. During Year 2,
the International Space Station undertook several investigations
on behalf of commercial interests.
cells like these were the subject of new research conducted
aboard the International Space Station as part of Expedition
Five, Albert Li from StelSys LLC in Baltimore, Maryland, grew
liver cells in the Cellular Biotechnology Operations Support System,
managed by Neal Pellis at NASA Johnson Space Center. One of the specialized functions of the human liver is to break down drugs
or toxins into less harmful and more water-soluble substances
that are more easily excreted from the body. This investigation
tested the function of human liver cells grown on the station,
comparing the results to the typical function of duplicate cells
on Earth. Cells
are transported to the station, where they are nurtured and grown.
Once the cells are grown, they are frozen, and the frozen cells
are transported back to Earth for study.
is the result of a licensing agreement between NASA and StelSys
to investigate new technologies for use in development of commercial
medical products and services. Sponsors of this experiment hope
that this work will lead to earlier and more reliable drug-candidate
screening for patients in need of liver and kidney treatments
prior to transplant. It could also accelerate development of new
life-saving drugs by pharmaceutical companies.
Space-Grown Soybean Crop
growing in the Advanced Astroculture plant growth chamber
on the International Space Station undergo inspection
on July 10, 2002.|
bringing in their crops, researchers on Earth are studying soybeans
harvested from the first-ever crop grown from seed to seed on
the International Space Station. Space Shuttle Atlantis brought
the soybeans home when it returned from a station visit in October
2002 on the STS-112 mission. Researchers were happy with the results.
soybean crop grown in space returned in excellent condition, and
a total of 83 seeds were harvested from 42 seed pods,” said Dr.
Weijia Zhou, director of the Wisconsin Space Center for Automation
and Robotics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Since a
plant’s habitat plays a key role in determining the physiological
and biological characteristics of the plant, we believe that reduced
gravity may affect plant chemistry.”
containing anti-tumor drugs and small amounts of radio-contrast
oil were created during MEPS operations on STS-95 in
Electrostatic Processing, or MEPS, experiment involved enclosing
a drug in a tiny, liquid-filled microballoon microencapsulation,
which has been shown to be a better way to deliver drugs to tumors
and resistant infections. During Expedition Five, investigators
encapsulated two different drugs in the same microcapsule. In
addition, they encapsulated drugs and magnetic trigger particles
together, a technique that would enable physicians to deliver
a burst of drugs to a very specific area of the body by breaking
open the microcapsules with a magnetic field.