Cell science and protein crystal growth research for the International Space Station
Department of Cell Biology
Medical Subject Headings
Biotechnology; *Cell Culture Techniques; Crystallization; Proteins; Research Design; *Space Flight; United States; United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration; *Weightlessness
The recent National Research Council report, Future Biotechnology Research on the International Space Station, evaluates NASA's plans for research in cell science and protein crystal growth to be conducted on the International Space Station. This report concludes that the NASA biotechnology programs have the potential to significantly impact relevant scientific fields and to increase understanding and insight into fundamental biological issues. In order to realize the potential impacts, NASA must focus its research programs by selecting specific questions related to gravitational forces' role in cell behavior and by using the microgravity environment as a tool to determine the structure of macromolecules with important biological implications. Given the time and volume constraints associated with space-based experiments, instrumentation to be used on the space station must be designed to maximize the productivity of researchers, and NASA's recruitment of investigators and support for space station experiments should aim to encourage and facilitate cutting-edge research.
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Citation: J Cell Biochem. 2000 Sep 14;79(4):662-71.