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Astronauts are exposed to a unique combination of stressors during spaceflight, which leads to alterations in their physiology and potentially increases their susceptibility to disease, including infectious diseases. To evaluate the potential impact of the spaceflight environment on the regulation of molecular pathways mediating cellular stress responses, we performed a first-of-its-kind pilot study to assess spaceflight-related gene-expression changes in the whole blood of astronauts. Using an array comprised of 234 well-characterized stress-response genes, we profiled transcriptomic changes in six astronauts (four men and two women) from blood preserved before and immediately following the spaceflight. Differentially regulated transcripts included those important ...

Contributors
Barrila, Jennifer, Ott, C. Mark, LeBlanc, Carly, et al.
Created Date
2016-12-08

Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium strains belonging to sequence type ST313 are a major cause of fatal bacteremia among HIV-infected adults and children in sub-Saharan Africa. Unlike “classical” non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS), gastroenteritis is often absent during ST313 infections and isolates are most commonly recovered from blood, rather than from stool. This is consistent with observations in animals, in which ST313 strains displayed lower levels of intestinal colonization and higher recovery from deeper tissues relative to classic NTS isolates. A better understanding of the key environmental factors regulating these systemic infections is urgently needed. Our previous studies using dynamic Rotating Wall Vessel ...

Contributors
Yang, Jiseon, Barrila, Jennifer, Roland, Kenneth, et al.
Created Date
2016-06-09

We advocate a low-cost strategy for long-duration research into the ‘milligravity’ environment of asteroids, comets and small moons, where surface gravity is a vector field typically less than 1/1000 the gravity of Earth. Unlike the microgravity environment of space, there is a directionality that gives rise, over time, to strangely familiar geologic textures and landforms. In addition to advancing planetary science, and furthering technologies for hazardous asteroid mitigation and in situ resource utilization, simplified access to long-duration milligravity offers significant potential for advancing human spaceflight, biomedicine and manufacturing. We show that a commodity 3U (10 × 10 × 34 cm[superscript ...

Contributors
Asphaug, Erik, Thangavelautham, Jekan, Klesh, Andrew, et al.
Created Date
2017-06-05

Three-dimensional models of human intestinal epithelium mimic the differentiated form and function of parental tissues often not exhibited by two-dimensional monolayers and respond to Salmonella in key ways that reflect in vivo infections. To further enhance the physiological relevance of three-dimensional models to more closely approximate in vivo intestinal microenvironments encountered by Salmonella, we developed and validated a novel three-dimensional co-culture infection model of colonic epithelial cells and macrophages using the NASA Rotating Wall Vessel bioreactor. First, U937 cells were activated upon collagen-coated scaffolds. HT-29 epithelial cells were then added and the three-dimensional model was cultured in the bioreactor until ...

Contributors
Barrila, Jennifer, Yang, Jiseon, Crabbe, Aurelie, et al.
Created Date
2017-02-28