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Spaceflight to probe how cells become diseased

A spaceflight will probe how cells remain healthy or succumb to disease, particularly in the face of stress or damage, in the first ever experiment of its kind.

On Monday, Arizona State University (ASU) Biodesign Institute researchers Cheryl Nickerson and her team, including Jennifer Barrila and Shameema Sarker, will see their latest experiment launched into low earth orbit aboard the space shuttle Discovery.

The goals of the team's research are to provide fundamental new insight into the infectious disease process, and further understanding of other progressive diseases, including immune disorders and cancer.

The knowledge gained from this work may eventually aid in the development of new treatments for infectious diseases, which remain a leading cause of human morbidity and mortality worldwide.

Results of the current study will also be used to help mitigate infectious disease risks to the crew, who are particularly vulnerable to infection, due to reduced immune function during spaceflight missions.
 
 

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