February 1st, 2022

It's a double feature! GiS-5 investigations published

The Genes in Space-5 investigation began with an unprecedented tie — between Liza Reizis and Sophia Chen to win our 2017 contest — and has wrapped with an unprecedented accomplishment: the simultaneous publication of two student research papers in the Journal of Gravitational and Space Research.

The investigations launched to the ISS side-by-side in April 2018. Reizis' investigation focused on protecting astronauts from immune dysfunction. Her study established a PCR-based method to monitor immune cell development from blood samples.

The video below offers a two-minute snapshot of Reizis' experiment.

Chen's experiment took the first steps toward establishing a method to monitor genome integrity in astronauts. Space travelers are exposed to increased levels of cosmic radiation, which damages DNA and increases susceptibility to cancer and other negative health effects. Detecting DNA damage, perhaps through a method like the one pioneered in Chen's study, is the first step toward protecting astronauts from these ill health effects.

See the video below for a two-minute overview of Chen's study.