Abzu and NASA GeneLab study dermatological changes in spaceflight.

Abzu’s QLattice uniquely identified key “partner” genes involved in skin spaceflight response, a new discovery for how spaceflight damages skin.

NASA GeneLab brings together a community of scientists to utilize the spaceflight and spaceflight analogue datasets hosted on GeneLab to generate novel discoveries and hypothesis-driven, collaborative, follow-on investigations.

Abzu’s QLattice identified key “partner” genes involved in skin spaceflight response.

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We were part of a team of over 20 scientists from research institutions, including: University of Nottingham, University of Oxford, Georgetown University, Technical University of Munich, and the University of California, Berkeley; and space research institutions including NASA Ames Research Center, USRA, and the NASA Johnson Space Center.

Our research is available in preprint: More than a Feeling: Dermatological Changes Impacted by Spaceflight.

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Conventional statistical methods only allowed for calculating the effect of a single gene. In contrast, the symbolic regression models from the QLattice revealed combinations of genes and modules.

Jonas Elsborg, Machine Learning Researcher

Revealing the “why” behind dermatological changes in spaceflight.

We identified key “partner” genes involved in skin spaceflight response.

Space travel presents distinct challenges and can heighten a variety of health risks, including skin-related conditions. Until now, researchers haven’t been able to pinpoint the cause: Microgravity? Hygiene? Radiation? An unknown factor, or a combination of these?

We helped discover that upregulation and downregulation of “partner” genes — a unique find — is the root cause. These results are being used to design countermeasures to mitigate spaceflight damage to the skin.

We worked with leading research and space research institutions and utilized NASA’s Open Science Data Repository on spaceflown murine transcriptomic datasets focused on the skin and biomedical profiles from fifty NASA astronauts, and confirmed our findings against transcriptomic data from JAXA astronauts, the NASA Twins Study, and the first civilian commercial mission, Inspiration4.

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