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Space Biology Program


Completed Technology Project

Project Description

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GeneLab collects and enables analysis of spaceflight and ground-based spaceflight simulation genomic data, RNA and protein expression, and metabolic profiles. It interfaces with other existing databases containing spaceflight omic data. The 2011 National Research Council (NRC) Decadal Survey on NASA Life and Physical Sciences called for increased opportunities for multi-investigator spaceflight opportunities and greater use of genomic approaches to meet the needs of NASA researchers. To address these recommendations of the NRC Decadal Survey, the Space Life and Physical Sciences Research and Applications Division of NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate has initiated a transition to an Open Science architecture to increase research opportunities, and has developed the GeneLab Platform based on highly leveraged and integrated bioinformatics analytics. GeneLab is an interactive, open-access resource where scientists can upload, download, store, search, share, transfer, and analyze omics data from spaceflight and corresponding analogue experiments. Users can explore GeneLab datasets in the Data Repository, analyze data using the Analysis Platform, visualize high-order data and create collaborative projects using the Collaborative Workspace. Our primary goal is to maximize the utilization of the valuable biological research conducted aboard the International Space Station (ISS) by collecting genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomics data known as “omics”. By providing a portal linking processed data to flight parameters, GeneLab enables exploration of the molecular network responses of terrestrial biology to the space environment. This allows researchers to understand the complex responses of biological systems to the space environment. This technology development activity was transferred from the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate to the Science Mission Directorate Division of Biological and Physical Sciences (BPS) in October 2020.

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