Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Space flies offer clues about microgravity's impact on astronauts

Date:
January 31, 2014
Source:
University of Central Florida
Summary:
Fruit flies bred in space are offering scientists a clue as to how astronauts' immune systems may be damaged during prolonged space travel.

Fruit flies bred in space are offering scientists a clue as to how astronauts' immune systems may be damaged during prolonged space travel.

Related Articles


A team of researchers from the University of California at Davis and the University of Central Florida has been studying the impact weightlessness has on fruit flies in space. The team's findings are published in this month's journal PLOS One.

Fruit flies' innate immune system is similar to that of humans and other mammals and is often used as a model in basic studies. While the negative impact of zero gravity on muscle, bone mass and the immune system has long been documented, exactly how it happens remains a mystery. This study offers a clue into one way the immune system may be affected.

"Our study showed that a biochemical pathway needed to fight fungal infections is seriously compromised in the flies after space flight," said Laurence Von Kalm, a UCF biologist who worked on the study. "More work will be needed to determine if similar effects occur in humans, but this gives us some clues. Getting a better understanding is particularly important, especially as we look to engage in long-term missions such as interplanetary space flights."

The research team, led by UC Davis biologist Deborah Kimbrell, bred flies in space aboard Space Shuttle Discovery in 2006. The flies developed into adults while on the 12-day mission. The flies were retrieved after the mission and researchers found that they were more apt to get fungal infections. Further analysis revealed that the system the flies use for detecting and defending against fungal infection was deactivated. In contrast, another system used to defend against bacterial infection was not impaired in the space flies.

The team hopes to carry out research with fruit flies on the International Space Station.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Central Florida. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Katherine Taylor, Kurt Kleinhesselink, Michael D. George, Rachel Morgan, Tangi Smallwood, Ann S. Hammonds, Patrick M. Fuller, Perot Saelao, Jeff Alley, Allen G. Gibbs, Deborah K. Hoshizaki, Laurence von Kalm, Charles A. Fuller, Kathleen M. Beckingham, Deborah A. Kimbrell. Toll Mediated Infection Response Is Altered by Gravity and Spaceflight in Drosophila. PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (1): e86485 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0086485

Cite This Page:

University of Central Florida. "Space flies offer clues about microgravity's impact on astronauts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140131130801.htm>.
University of Central Florida. (2014, January 31). Space flies offer clues about microgravity's impact on astronauts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140131130801.htm
University of Central Florida. "Space flies offer clues about microgravity's impact on astronauts." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140131130801.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) Take a stab at this -- stunt video shows a lamb chop's journey from an east London restaurant over 30 kilometers into space. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soyuz Spacecraft Docks With International Space Station: NASA

Soyuz Spacecraft Docks With International Space Station: NASA

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying Italy's first female astronaut safely docks with the International Space Station, according to NASA. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Multi-National Crew Safely Docks at Space Station

Multi-National Crew Safely Docks at Space Station

Reuters - US Online Video (Nov. 24, 2014) A Russian Soyuz rocket delivers a multi-national trio to the International Space Station. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Soyuz Docks With Int'l Space Station

Raw: Soyuz Docks With Int'l Space Station

AP (Nov. 23, 2014) A Russian capsule carrying three astronauts from Russia, the United States and Italy has arrived at the International Space Station. (Nov. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

More Coverage


How Microorganisms May Alter Fruit Flies' Immunity in Space and in Hypergravity

July 1, 2014 Before you swat away the next fruit fly, consider instead just how similar its biological complexities are to our own. In a recent study, researchers studied how microorganisms may alter fruit ... read more

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins