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The CYTOSPACE Experiment - The microgravity exerts several important effects on living organisms both at the molecular level and at the systemic level. Namely those cells exposed to microgravity show changes in the architecture and cell cytoskeleton, as well as biochemical and genetic changes. These changes result in an alteration of the latest biological and physiological functions. It is been suggested that the cytoskeletal changes induced by microgravity result in changes in the form and consequently in changes of gene expression. However, this correlation has not yet been established. Beyond the theoretical relevance of this type of relationship, the dependence of the genetic changes of the structural and morphological stability of the cell may imply that some of the effects of microgravity could be neutralized by stabilizing the cytoskeleton.

The experiment CYTOSPACE aims to answer these questions, providing for the first time the creation of an experimental model capable of highlighting the relationship between microgravity, cell shape and gene expression. The experiment, designed by the Cytospace Team and led by Kayser Italia, will be carried out on the International Space Station (ISS) by Samantha, starting from April 16th 2015.

 

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