Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Growing Bone in Space: UCLA and CASIS Announce Pioneering Collaborative Study to Test Therapy for Bone Loss on the International Space Station

22.01.2015

UCLA has received grant funding from the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) to lead a research mission that will send rodents to the International Space Station (ISS). The mission will allow astronauts on the space station and scientists on Earth to test a potential new therapy for accelerating bone growth in humans.

The research will be led by Dr. Chia Soo, a UCLA professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery and orthopaedic surgery, who is member of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research. Soo is also research director for UCLA Operation Mend, which provides medical care for wounded warriors. The study will test the ability of a bone-forming molecule called NELL-1 to direct stem cells to induce bone formation and prevent bone degeneration.


NASA

The International Space Station (as photographed by an STS-134 crew member on the space shuttle Endeavour, after the station and shuttle began their post-undocking relative separation).

Other members of the UCLA research team are Dr. Kang Ting, a professor in dentistry who discovered NELL-1 and is leading efforts to translate NELL-1 therapy to humans, Dr. Ben Wu, a professor of bioengineering who modified the NELL-1 molecule to make useful for treating osteoporosis, and Dr. Jin Hee Kwak, an assistant professor of dentistry who will manage daily operations.

Based on results of previous studies supported by the NIH, the UCLA-ISS team will begin ground operations in early 2015. They hope that the study will provide new insights into the prevention of bone loss or osteoporosis as well as the regeneration of massive bone defects that can occur in wounded military personnel. Osteoporosis is a significant public health problem commonly associated with “skeletal disuse” conditions such as immobilization, stroke, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury and jaw resorption after tooth loss.

“NELL-1 holds tremendous hope, not only for preventing bone loss but one day even restoring healthy bone,” Ting said. “For patients who are bed-bound and suffering from bone loss, it could be life-changing.”

The UCLA team will oversee the ground operations of the mission in tandem with a flight operation coordinated by CASIS and NASA.

“A group of 40 rodents will be sent to the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory onboard the SpaceX Dragon capsule, where they will live for two months in a microgravity environment during the first ever test of NELL-1 in space,” said Dr. Julie Robinson, NASA’s chief scientist for the International Space Station program at the Johnson Space Center.

“CASIS is proud to work alongside UCLA in an effort to promote the station as a viable platform for bone loss inquiry,” said Warren Bates, director of portfolio management for CASIS. “Through investigations like this, we hope to make profound discoveries and enable the development of therapies to counteract bone loss ailments common in humans.”

Prolonged space flights induce extreme changes in bone and organ systems that cannot be replicated on Earth.

“Besides testing the limits of NELL-1’s robust bone-producing effects, this mission will provide new insights about bone biology and could uncover important clues for curing diseases such as osteoporosis," Wu said.

“NIH has been pleased to work with NASA and CASIS to encourage the use of the International Space Station as a unique microgravity environment that can test innovative hypotheses that will benefit human health on Earth,” said Dr. Joan A. McGowan, director of the division of musculoskeletal diseases at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, part of the NIH.

“This research has enormous translational application for astronauts in space flight and for patients on Earth who have osteoporosis or other bone-loss problems from disease, illness or trauma,” Soo said. “We very much appreciate the dedicated review staff at CASIS and the Center for Scientific Review, the portal for NIH grant applications, who made this ISS-NIH effort possible.”

The research is supported by grants from the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space and National Institutes of Health. Additional funding and support are provided by the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA, the UCLA School of Dentistry, UCLA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and UCLA Orthopaedic Hospital Research Center.

About Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research

The stem cell center was launched in 2005 with a UCLA commitment of $20 million over five years. A $20 million gift from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation in 2007 resulted in the renaming of the center. With more than 200 members, the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research is committed to a multi-disciplinary, integrated collaboration of scientific, academic and medical disciplines for the purpose of understanding adult and human embryonic stem cells. The center supports innovation, excellence and the highest ethical standards focused on stem cell research with the intent of facilitating basic scientific inquiry directed towards future clinical applications to treat disease. The center is a collaboration of the David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science and the UCLA College of Letters and Science.

To learn more about the center, visit http://www.stemcell.ucla.edu 

About Operation Mend

UCLA Operation Mend is a groundbreaking program that provides returning military personnel from Iraq and Afghanistan, and service members wounded in training for battle, who suffer from severe facial and other medical injuries access to the nation's top plastic and reconstructive surgeons, as well as comprehensive medical and mental-health support for the wounded and their families.

To learn more about Operation Mend, visit http://operationmend.ucla.edu 

About CASIS

About CASIS: The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) was selected by NASA in July 2011 to maximize use of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory through 2020. CASIS is dedicated to supporting and accelerating innovations and new discoveries that will enhance the health and wellbeing of people and our planet.

For more information, visit www.iss-casis.org 

Peter Bracke | newswise

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht T-ray camera speed boosted a hundred times over
13.07.2020 | University of Warwick

nachricht Robust high-performance data storage through magnetic anisotropy
13.07.2020 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron cryo-microscopy: Using inexpensive technology to produce high-resolution images

Biochemists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have used a standard electron cryo-microscope to achieve surprisingly good images that are on par with those taken by far more sophisticated equipment. They have succeeded in determining the structure of ferritin almost at the atomic level. Their results were published in the journal "PLOS ONE".

Electron cryo-microscopy has become increasingly important in recent years, especially in shedding light on protein structures. The developers of the new...

Im Focus: The spin state story: Observation of the quantum spin liquid state in novel material

New insight into the spin behavior in an exotic state of matter puts us closer to next-generation spintronic devices

Aside from the deep understanding of the natural world that quantum physics theory offers, scientists worldwide are working tirelessly to bring forth a...

Im Focus: Excitation of robust materials

Kiel physics team observed extremely fast electronic changes in real time in a special material class

In physics, they are currently the subject of intensive research; in electronics, they could enable completely new functions. So-called topological materials...

Im Focus: Electrons in the fast lane

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....

Im Focus: The lightest electromagnetic shielding material in the world

Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.

Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

International conference QuApps shows status quo of quantum technology

02.07.2020 | Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Satellite data show severity of drought summers in 2018 and 2019

13.07.2020 | Earth Sciences

Scientists demonstrate a new experiment in the search for theorized 'neutrinoless' process

13.07.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

Extraordinary regeneration of neurons in zebrafish

13.07.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>