One of the questions this experiment has to answers is how genome editing affects cells in certain conditions. If they will have a difference with or without gravity.
Using the ISS for this unique experiment to document cells in the process of fixing cells ravaged by cancer cells. Astronauts used yeast cells as the guinea pig for the process, reported the Daily Mail.
The method called CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology is used on animals and plants with precise results. This experiment in space will be done with a twist.
Experiments on the ISS
One of the objectives that will take advantage of the unique setting in outer space is done by damaging the yeast cells with CRISPR and observe the repair systems of cells.
It will be compared to using radiation to cause DNA damage with gene editing. There would be more seen using this method. The repair process in cells is critical to learn more from what we know.
Animal DNA is damaged in many ways. One of these is the usual biological effects of getting exposed to the environment. These can range to several types of radiative energy, some more lethal than others.
Focal point of the study
The point of interest is the particular way the DNA can be damaged. This is called the "double-strand break." In this situation, the double helix has catastrophically damaged the backbone that connects the proteins, noted Science Daily.
One consequence of not repairing the damage will be death for the organism. Both helix strands should be connected to synthesize proteins. But mis-repairs should be avoided because they might generate cancer cells. Investigating the regeneration of damaged cells causing cancer the process can be better understood.
Knowing how cells can repair with different methods to heal the damaged DNA should point the way to prevent cancer.
There are factors acknowledged by the experiment to harm DNA intentionally when outer space in the ISS is radically different from that done on earth. In space, there is a lot of radiation when unblocked that can cause a lot of problems for animal cells due to more exposure.
Seeing how microgravity will change the physical dynamics of cells, and specific conditions less gravity affects the double broken DNA. Another is where DNA fixes outside space will not be the same on earth.
What's next for gene editing?
Doing this experiment is the first attempt done with CRISPR/Cas9 in space. Another first in the experiment is altering live cells of another organism, done by humans.
According to the paper author and biologist Sebastian Kraves of Massachusetts-based MiniPCR Bio, the scientist has used novel technologies like CRISPR genome editing, PCR, and nanopore sequencing in a non-Earth environment, cited Eurekalert.
He added that they were successful in combining them in a working form of biotechnology that will be used for DNA repair. Another is a follow-up of other cell processes to be investigated in the space environment.
One of the members of the study, Sarah Stahl Rommel of Houston's JES Tech, said that participating in "Genes in Space-6" is a highlight for her.
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