Zebrafish in Space

Richard Vogt vogt
Tue Feb 27 12:46:16 EST 1996


Following is posted for Dr. Edward Goolish.

NASA RESEARCH ANNOUNCEMENT
Soliciting Proposals  for
Research Opportunities in
Space Life Sciences

Letters of Intent:  April 15, 1996
Proposals Due:  May 15, 1996

The Space Biology Program focuses on research designed to improve our
understanding of the role of gravity (and radiation) in biological processes. 
This is accomplished by using a variety of gravitational environments
(hypergravity, simulated hypogravity, and microgravity) as research tools or
by determining the effects of the interaction of gravity and other
environmental factors on biological systems.  The emphasis in this Program is
on advancing fundamental knowledge in the biological sciences, but the
research supported often also contributes to NASA's goals of enabling human
exploration of space and improving the quality of life on Earth. 

The Program emphasizes research in *DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY*, cellular and
molecular biology, and plant biology that seeks an understanding of basic
mechanisms underlying the effects of gravity.  MODEL AQUATIC ANIMAL MODELS TO
BE SUPPORTED INCLUDE SPECIES SUCH AS ZEBRAFISH, MEDAKA, XENOPUS, AND MARINE
INVERTEBRATES.

NASA's goals in DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY:  are to determine the mechanisms by
which gravity induces normal development and function; how gravity affects the
capacity of animal species to reproduce; and the mechanisms by which
subsequent generations are affected by gravity.  Proposals which use different
gravitational states to elucidate the effects of gravity during animal
development are encouraged.  Research in developmental biology should be
focused on the influence of hypergravity and microgravity on animal growth,
development, reproduction, genetic integrity, life span, senescence, and
subsequent generations of animals.  A pressing issue concerning developmental
biology in space is whether an organism can undergo a complete life cycle in
microgravity conditions. 

Cellular and Molecular Biology:   Proposals elucidating the mechanism(s) for
gravity sensitivity in cells, unicellular organisms, or organized structural
and functional units of multicellular biological systems are encouraged. 
Research into the influence of gravity on biological functions at the cellular
level should be focused on identifying how cells perceive gravity.  This may
include the interactions of gravity with environmentally mediated effects. The
goals should be to determine how gravitational information is transduced in
cells; how cells respond to both acute and long-term variations in gravity;
and the role of gravity on the cytoskeleton, ion channels, and function of
cells.  For example, research might focus on determining the role gravity
plays on cellular responses to growth factors, or how it affects the
three-dimensional microenvironment of the cell with respect to information
content within the cell.

To be acceptable, each proposal submitted under this Announcement must be one
of two types:
Ground-Based Research Investigation:    It is expected that the majority of
proposals submitted in response to this solicitation will fall into the
category of standard research proposals, i.e., proposals to carry out a
scientific or technical study in an Earth laboratory and having a clearly 
defined
set of research objectives.  All proposals must be consistent with the
research areas and emphases defined in this Announcement if they are to be
considered for funding. Proposals to conduct ground-based research aimed at 
developing mature experiments designed for the later phases of International
Space Station utilization (from 2001 onwards) are particularly encouraged. 
 
Space-Flight Experiment:    Proposals are sought to carry out either of two
special types of scientific studies in space: (1) experiments, called Small
Payloads Experiments, that can be implemented (primarily on the Shuttle
middeck) without the use of major mission resources; and (2) experiments that
can be implemented with the limited resources available on the International
Space Station during the early assembly (construction) phase (1998-1999). 

The government's obligation to make awards is contingent upon the availability
of appropriated funds from which payment for award purposes can be made and
the receipt of proposals that the government determines are acceptable for
award under this NRA.  It is anticipated that approximately 40 awards
averaging $125,000 (total costs) each annually will be made, although the
total annual cost may vary from $15,000 to $350,000. 

This NASA Research Announcement is available over the Internet at:

**************    http://peer1.idi.usra.edu/     ****************

Also at:
Amer. Soc. for Gravitational and Space Biology:
http://baby.indstate.edu/asgsb                    

If you do not have Internet access please contact 
Dr. Edward M. Goolish at:

Space Station Biological Research Project
NASA Ames Research Center             
T20G-2                                                                        

Moffett Field, CA 94035              
Telephone:   415/604-1961
FAX:   415/604-1701
e-mail:  ed_goolish at qmgate.arc.nasa.gov





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