SEP 12, 2019 6:00 AM PDT

Using the NASA GeneLab Data System to Study the Metagenomes of Spaceships and Their Occupants

C.E. Credits: P.A.C.E. CE Florida CE
Speakers
  • GeneLab Project Scientist, NASA Ames Research Center
    Biography
      Dr. Jonathan Galazka is Project Scientist of the NASA GeneLab project at NASA Ames Research Center. Jonathan received a PhD in Molecular & Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley where he studied biomass degradation and conversion by filamentous fungi and yeasts. He performed a postdoctoral fellowship at Oregon State University where he studied the mechanisms of heterochromatin establishment, and the role of heterochromatin in maintaining genome structure. In addition to his work on GeneLab, Jonathan is developing synthetic biological solutions to NASA's technological needs.
    • Research Director, Mason Laboratory of Integrative Genomics, Weill Cornell Medicine, Co-Chair NASA geneLab Microbiome, Executive Director MetaSUB
      Biography
        Dr. Daniela Bezdan is currently working as the Research Director of the Mason Laboratory of Integrative Genomics at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City. She is involved in multiple diverse projects in urban metagenomics and NASA microbiome/omics studies (ISS space station, NASA Twin Study & Mars rover). She is particular interested in development of novel next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies and bioinformatic solutions on earth and in space. Daniela just accepted a Co-Chair for the NASA GeneLab Microbiome Innovative and is currently Executive Director of the International MetaSUB consortium with 220 members from more than 25 countries. Her academic pedigree includes the EMBL in Heidelberg (Germany), the Max-Planck-Institute in Tuebingen (Germany), UCSD (USA), the University of Kyoto (Japan), the CRG/EMBL in Barcelona (Spain) and the Weill-Cornell-Med in New York (USA). Daniela Bezdan also accepted a new position as the Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) at Bumrungrad International Hospital but will remain affiliated with Weil Cornell Medicine and NASA GeneLab.
      • Research Assistant Professor, Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology, Department of Neurobiology, Northwestern University
        Biography
          Dr. Peng Jiang is a Research Assistant Professor at the Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology, Northwestern University. Dr. Jiang's research uses systems biology and multi-omics approaches to understand sleep and circadian rhythms and their roles in mammalian health and disease. His most recent and current work includes multiple NASA-supported projects to study the role of the gut microbiome in mammalian physiology during spaceflight. The ultimate goal of these projects is to enable microbiome-based approaches to mitigate risks to astronaut health during long-term space explorations. Dr. Jiang is also a member of NASA GeneLab Microbe Analysis Working Group (AWG).

        Abstract

        With humans pushing to live further off Earth for longer periods of time, it is increasingly important to understand the changes that occur in biological systems during spaceflight whether these be astronauts, their microbial commensals, or their plant-based life support systems. In a three-part presentation, we discuss GeneLab and recent discoveries regarding the microbiota of spacecrafts and space-flown animals.

        Part 1: GeneLab: Open Science for Life in Space, Jonathan Galazka, NASA Ames Research Center

        Abstract: To accelerate the pace of discovery from precious spaceflight biological experiments, NASA as develop the GeneLab data system (genelab.nasa.gov), which allows unfettered access to omics data from spaceflight and spaceflight relevant experiments. GeneLab houses metagenomic datasets from spacecraft and relevant spacecraft models. Users can download this data and associated metadata to make new discoveries about how microbial communities may change and adapt to spaceflight.

        Part 2: Reproducible changes in the gut microbiome suggest a shift in microbial and host metabolism during spaceflight, Peng Jiang, Northwestern University

        Abstract: The gastrointestinal microbiota interacts with multiple aspects of mammalian physiological functions. Microbiome changes in response to the challenging space environmental factors, such as microgravity and radiation, are thus thought to be important for astronaut health during long-term missions. Spaceflight-associated changes in the gut microbiome include an elevated microbial diversity and an altered community structure, which appeared to be consistent across studies in both humans and mice. Ongoing-studies are aiming to understand microbiome-host interactions during spaceflight and the significance of such interactions impact mammalian functions such as metabolism, immune functions, and sleep.

        Part 3: Novel technologies to identify Antimicrobial resistances in hospitals, urban environments and on the NASA International Space Station

        Abstract: With the revolution of next-generation sequencing technologies the field of microbiome and metagenomics research continues to expand and transform several fields. The Extreme Microbiome Project (XMP) launched in 2014 characterizes the microbial communities of extreme sites on Earth. In 2015 we launched the International MetaSUB consortium with more than 200 members in 25 countries. We experimenting with new technologies to find better solutions to for the remote and rapid sequencing of infectious diseases in hospitals, on the International Space Station (ISS) and in NASA clean rooms to inform the spacecraft assembly engineers and biological scientists of any potential bacterial or human contamination. Furthermore, we have been testing a broad range of cutting-edge technologies in the NASA Twins study. To better understand the impact of spaceflight on the human body and to prepare for future exploration-class missions, a pair of identical twin astronauts was monitored before, during, and after a one-year mission resulting in one of the most comprehensive studies ever have been made on one individuum.


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