A previous press release discussed the use of the EpochTM Multi-Volume Spectrophotometer by Wyle scientist in conjunction with NASA at the Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) Research Station on Devon Island. Below is an update as to the work recently completed:
During a recent deployment with the Haughton Mars Project to Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic, Valerie Meyers, Ph.D. (Wyle-JSC Toxicology) collected blood samples from 4 volunteers and analyzed the presence of surface adhesion molecules on T cells in the field. Plasma cortisol levels, an indicator of stress, and soluble surface proteins shed into the blood were also analyzed in the field using the Epoch spectrophotometer, loaned by BioTek. Dr. Meyers also collected saliva samples which were returned to Johnson Space Center where they will be analyzed by Satish Mehta (EASI-JSC Microbiology) for evidence of viral shedding, a marker of immune suppression seen during spaceflight. Results from samples collected during the deployment will be compared to those obtained from the subjects after returning to their normal routines in mid-September. This research seeks to provide insight into the mechanisms of immune dysfunction associated with chronic stress, which may help us find ways to minimize the negative effects of stress on astronauts as well as people involved in high stress occupations here on Earth.
The goal of the project is to better understand immune dysfunction mechanisms associated with chronic stress to help develop counter-measures to support longer-term space mission.
By, BioTek Instruments