June 3rd, 2021

GiS Spotlight: Junior Scientist awardee Alexander Gore

Each year, we honor 5 outstanding submissions from 7th and 8th graders with Junior Scientist Awards. This year, earning a Junior Scientist Award was no easy feat — more than half of the 630 proposals we received were submitted by middle school teams!

Today, we shine the GiS Spotlight on one JSA winner: Alexander Gore (13) from BASIS San Antonio in San Antonio, TX, who proposed to study the impact of space travel on the circulatory system.

Alexander Gore.jpg Alexander shows where ANP is made in the heart

What was the focus of your experiment? My experiment involves studying the impact of space travel on the fluid redistribution within the human body, which can adversely affect the astronauts by making them lightheaded, dizzy, and causing them to faint. I learned about the importance of Atrial Natriuretic Peptide (ANP) to managing blood volume and designed an experiment that will compare the levels of the ANP specific mRNA in organisms on Earth and those in space. 

Why did you choose to participate in Genes in Space? I chose to participate in Genes in Space because I enjoy learning about space, which is also why I am a part of the NASA-sponsored Lunar Caves Analog Test Sites (LCATS) program in my hometown. I was also inspired because I saw other people from my school whose projects have won previously, and I decided to try myself. 

2021 JSA Alexander Gore

How did you choose your topic? I chose my topic after reading about some of the cardiovascular effects of space travel on the human body, and after learning about the different ways that the human body adjusts its blood volume. 

What did you gain by participating in Genes in Space? I gained more knowledge on the effects on the human body in space. I appreciate some of the challenges humans face during space travel, as well as the challenges that scientists need to consider when making sure that the astronauts are healthy during the flight. 

Do you have any advice for future Genes in Space contestants? My advice is to find a topic that interests you, read about it, come up with questions, and pick the one that may not have been asked or answered previously.