The experiment on the International Space Station Road Alzheimer ;
In her research, Xu found that Alzheimer’s disease begins when molecules of a normal brain cell protein called “tau” do something abnormal: they join to form entangled that the cell can not remove fibers. the fibers accumulate until essential substances can not move through the cell and elcélula dies.
In 2008, the use of new technology atomic force microscopy, Xu first observed the actual process by which the fibers are developed. Since then, he has been able to synthesize the fibers dela purified tau protein.
“It’s a three-step process,” he says. “First, molecules clustering tau protein together into spheres, each about the same size. Next, the spheres join together in linear chains like beads on a string. In the third step, the beads are fused together to form a uniform identical to those found in the brains of Alzheimer patients “filament.
Proponents of the theory of Xu include KSC physician Daniel Woodard, the first medical doctor to review the investigation. He says: “The theory of Shaohua is revolutionary; his evidence is overwhelming medical implications are beyond anything in my experience..”
Medical NASA David Tipton, chief of the Aerospace Medicine and Health environmental Branch at KSC, says: “This could be the most important biomedical discovery ever made at Kennedy Space Center”. In addition, Pamela Tronetti, medical director of the Superior Parrish Consultative Center, predicts, “If this theory is correct, it may well have as great an impact on neurodegenerativaenfermedad as the discovery of germs had on infection.”
Xu says, “the process we have observed that closely resembles the formation of colloid. colloids are mixtures like milk or ink in which are small particles suspended in a fluid. Our theory is based inthe science of colloids. “
Xu says that if he is on the right track, it may be possible to stop the disease with drugs that prevent aggregation of the spherical colloidal particles into linear chains. Similar chemicals are already used to stabilize colloidal artificial materials such as inks and paints.
Xu began developing this theory in 1997, when he conducted research mad cow disease at the University of Chicago. The investigation continues requests mad cow disease and Parkinson’s disease, both of which seem to have very similar mechanisms.
In the next phase, Xu continued his work with former astronaut Sam Durrance, a professor of physics technology Florida and space sciences, which focuses on aspects of biophysics research, and gradúanestudiantes.
Now, in 2013, researchers from the Institute of Technology of Florida won a scholarship prestige that the next stage of their experiment to travel on a flight to the International Space Station ( ISS ). His proposal, “Self-Assembly in Biology and the Origin of Life (Sabol): a study of Alzheimer’s disease,” was only one of the eight proposals selected by Space Florida and NanoRacks, LLC, Competition ISS Research
experiment will be launched into space to the International space station through a rocket launch SpaceX Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral Air Force station. The launch is scheduled for December 2013. Currently
The principal investigators in this ISS-stage research are Sam Durrance former astronaut and the Faculty of Engineering faculty members Daniel Kirk and Hector Gutierrez. The principal investigators will work with students, including members of the Student Rocket Society, Society of Physics Students and Students for exploration and development of space to design and develop the capacity and analyze data.
“Through our project, we develop a better understanding of the origin of life on our planet, increase our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and provide an opportunity to apply this new knowledge to improve humanity” , Durrance said.
Durrance carries the experiment of biological science, to investigate the spontaneous assembly of amyloid proteins in long linear fibers, as described above. In the accumulation of amyloid fibers composed of either linear Tau proteins or amyloid-beta peptide Alzheimer it has shown that self-organization colloidal solution through interactions.
However, the mechanisms of amyloid fiber assembly are difficult to study on the ground because the protein fibers are deposited, which prevents further growth. In weightless conditions that must remain suspended and continue to grow with multiple fibers wrap around the other in helical bundles of fibers. The analysis of these fiber bundles must provide a clearer understanding of the internal structure of amyloid fibers.
“It is unclear whether amyloid deposits are a cause or a symptom of the disease, or if they go to in vivo form (in a living organism) in the same way that form in vitro (in a test tube trial), but it is clear that a complete understanding of the formation process of colloidal greatly benefit research of neurodegenerative diseases, “said Durrance. Researchers believe that understanding colloidal chemistry and biochemistry of the formation of amyloid fibers should result in process control strategies.
The experiment included about nine different incubation periods from one day to 30 days during orbit operations. When the buffer and protein solution powder are mixed and the temperature is adjusted, it takes about a day to agglomerate in the areas of protein, a few days to form fibers and a week or more to become entangled fibers, which in 30 days on Earth, would settle.
Kirk and Gutierrez are co-directors of the Florida Tech and Aerospace Systems Propulsion Laboratory (ASAP).
“We are delighted to see students of science and engineering work together to develop a unique experiment that has the potential to help understand the origins of life and, as importantly, to advance the fight against Alzheimer’s disease insidiously, “Kirk said.
experiment, which will be contained in a box payload unit called a module NanoLab-to four-inch cube can be manipulated and controlled laboratories Florida Tech while in flight. “One of our challenges is to make everything very small and automated,” said Durrance.
Approximately 30 students of science and engineering undergraduate and graduate involved in various phases of the project, including an extensive educational outreach effort.
About Institute of Technology Florida
Founded at the dawn of the race space in 1958, Florida Tech is the only independent, technological southeastern university. The university a step is designating a Best National University in US News & World Report, and is one of only nine schools in Florida lauded by the Guide 2012 Fiske universities and recognized by Bloomberg Businessweek as the best college for return on investment in Florida. Additional information is available online at www.fit.edu .
This article was originally published on alzheimersweekly, Read the original article here