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2021-09-21| In-depthSpecial

Research Endeavors in Space Biology – Are We Gearing Towards Another Biological Moonshot?

by Ameya Paleja
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When we speak about scientific research about space, it is common to think about experiments in the areas of physics aimed at improving our understanding of our universe. But, apart from those, scientists also ponder about biology and the effect space has on it. According to a Nature report, out of  3000 experiments conducted in space, 1200 have been in the areas of biology and biotechnology. This, by far, surpasses 300 odd experiments done in the field of physical sciences.  Today, we will deep-dive into this space and see how the area will shape our future.

Experiments conducted in space seem to look at the effect of microgravity or low gravity on things such as water droplets or candle flames. These experiments are easy to show and consume for the public at large. In stark contrast, biological experiments are challenging to demonstrate.

Did you know that nanopore sequencing was performed aboard the International Space Station? So far, experiments conducted have studied the human immune system, growth of plants, gene expression, neurological diseases, cancer treatments, and even carbon emissions in the science labs aboard the ISS. Here we attempted to review important highlights in the field and contemplate how could it impact our future.

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