Journal of The Japan Society of Microgravity Application
Print ISSN : 0915-3616
Volume 21 , Issue 1
1. : STS-107 Memorial-Japanese Activities on Science, Technology and Education through STS-107 2. Development of Gravitational Biology
Showing 1-18 articles out of 18 articles from the selected issue
  • [in Japanese]
    2004 Volume 21 Issue 1 Pages 1-
    Published: January 31, 2004
    Released: January 21, 2021
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  • Takao AKUTSU, Keiichi KUWAHARA, Mitsuyasu KATO, Fumiaki TANIGAKI, Izum ...
    2004 Volume 21 Issue 1 Pages 2-
    Published: January 31, 2004
    Released: January 21, 2021
    JOURNALS OPEN ACCESS
    The National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) conducted the protein crystal growth experiment and biospecimen sharing program (BSP) on the Space Shuttle mission STS-107. The crystal growth experiment was conducted with the Commercial Macromolecular Protein Crystal Growth (CMPCG) and composed of 5 science research themes, 5 applied research themes, one NASDA technical verification experiment and 6 high school team themes. BSP was the first program in which the specimens from space flight rodents would be distributed to 16 Principal Investigators from various countries which included 9 Japanese themes. The Space Shuttle Columbia was launched from Kennedy Space Center onJanuary 16, 2003 and performed its 16 day mission, On February 1, 2003, on its way back to the Earth, STS-107 Columbia was lost and all 7 crew were killed. Because of the Columbia accident, no data was obtained from NASDA's protein crystal growth experiment and BSP from the STS-107 mission.
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  • Izumi YOSHIZAKI, Hirohiko NAKAMURA
    2004 Volume 21 Issue 1 Pages 9-
    Published: January 31, 2004
    Released: January 21, 2021
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    JAXA developed a practical protocol to optimize the protein crystallization condition for microgravity experiment. This protocol focused on vapor diffusion method using HDPCG (high density protein crystal growth: a hardware developed by the University of Alabama, Birmingham) , which flew on the STS-107 mission. The objective of this development was to increase the success rate of microgravity experiments by setting the crystallization condition based on the knowledge of crystal growth and fluid dynamics.
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  • Keiichi KUWAHARA
    2004 Volume 21 Issue 1 Pages 14-
    Published: January 31, 2004
    Released: January 21, 2021
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    On Space Shuttle Colombia NASDA had conducted STS-107 protein crystal growth experiments. Sad to say, the accident of Colombia had happened at landing and 7 astronauts had been dead. Selected research themes ofNASDA's Pilot Applied Research Program had carried out. This report explains technical preparations for protein crystal growth in space and experimental operations of STS-107.
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  • Fumiaki TANIGAKI
    2004 Volume 21 Issue 1 Pages 19-
    Published: January 31, 2004
    Released: January 21, 2021
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    NASDA Education Program aims to arouse students' interest in the space utilization research and enhance their knowledge of science and technology. NASDA provided an opportunity to make the protein crystal growth experiment for high school students on the STS-107 space shuttle mission. This was the first Education Program on which students conducted the microgravity experiment in Japan.
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  • Hirotaka OISHI, Akira HIGASHIBATA, Nobuyoshi FUJIMOTO, Ryutaro IZUMI, ...
    2004 Volume 21 Issue 1 Pages 26-
    Published: January 31, 2004
    Released: January 21, 2021
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    The International Space Station will be completed in the beginning of the 21st century. The human being will spread earnest activities to space in the future. Therefore, detailed analysis of the effects of space environment on mammalian physiology is very important to ensure the safe manned space activities. So, from life science and medical viewpoints, it is essential to perform animal studies using mammalians such as rodents. The STS-107 Rat Sample Share Study (BSP: Biospecimen Sharing Program) was planned to utilize the organs and tissues which had not been required by the primary research programs, selected at the second international space life sciences research announcement. The BSP was planned to enable many investigators to analyze valuable specimens of the space-flown rats. Thus the STS-107 BSP was very important opportunity to conduct the researches on shared specimens, if Columbia returned without accident. The specimens would be distributed to nineJapanese BSP researchers and to seven from USA, Canada and France. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will make every effort to provide various opportunities for space experiments including biospecimen sample sharing program such as the STS-107 BSP based on international cooperation.
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  • Osamu ODAWARA
    2004 Volume 21 Issue 1 Pages 33-
    Published: January 31, 2004
    Released: January 21, 2021
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    A micro-gravity working group at the Japan-US Science, Technology and Space Application Program (JUSTSAP) has sponsored two micro-gravity projects on a STS-107 shuttle mission, which were named asJapan-US Space Protein Crystal (JUSPRO) and JUSTSAP Space Technology and Research Students (JUSTSAP S*T*A*R*S) , respectively. These projects were planned at the JUSTSAP Workshop '99 for achieving the identification and promotion of greater cooperation between Japan and US mutual activities after the successful project of JUSTSAP (Japan-US Thermal Science Acceleration Project) on a STS-95 mission. The flight of STS-107 was first scheduled in the beginning of2001. Due to orbiter maintenance requirements, technical issues with the shuttle fleet and International Space Station priorities, the STS-107 mission has experienced 19 delays over the past two and a half years. Although frustrating to our customers, this critical research mission was sure to have numerous scientific discoveries. With the success of the STS-95 JUSTSAP-sponsored acceleration measurement experiment, JUSTSAP, and these two research projects on STS-107 , JUSPRO andJUSTSAP S*T*A*R*S, the presentJUSTSAP forum of the micro-gravity working group could be poised to take advantage of future space research opportunities.
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  • Osamu ODAWARA, Maki NIIHORI
    2004 Volume 21 Issue 1 Pages 39-
    Published: January 31, 2004
    Released: January 21, 2021
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    At the 1999 JUSTSAP workshop, the micro-gravity working group made a joint commitment to support a student program dedicated to conducting an experiment in space called JUSTSAP S*T*A*R*S. The JUSTSAP S*T*A*R*S experiment aims to observe the swimming behavior of Medaka fry in micro-gravity and to observe the adaptation of Medaka fry to 1 G environment, which hatched out in the micro-gravity. Therefore, we did launch the eggs and hatch them under micro-gravity condition formed by STS-107 mission. Because fry are small, we need to confine them in the small space (nest) to avoid swimming far away. During the flight, the swimming behavior of Medaka fry was successfully recorded and observed. When the shuttle would return to the earth, Medaka frys' adaptation to gravity change were also recorded and observed by two video cameras. Controlled experiments were designed and carried out with the same protocol by collaborated Japanese students from more than 10 schools. Over the past couple of years, the student PI (Maki NIIHORI) has been studying the Medaka fish in order to prepare for this STS-107 flight experiment opportunity that observes the effect of micro-gravity on the development and behavior of the fish egg and fry. The PI was provided a two-month internship in the United States, under the guidance of biosphere experts, to further her Medaka fish studies and gain critical information regarding the ecosystem that is required to provide a healthy environment for the fish while in space.
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  • Takamitsu KOHZUMA, Hiroyoshi WATANABE, Maki SATOU, Tomotake NIIZEKI, Y ...
    2004 Volume 21 Issue 1 Pages 47-
    Published: January 31, 2004
    Released: January 21, 2021
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    The three dimensional structure of protein molecule is essential for understanding numerous cell functions and the industrial utilization of biological systems. It is important to determine the three dimensional structure of biological macromolecule components by certain techniques. Both X-ray and neutron crystallographic techniques require high-quality crystals to obtain precise structural information. Microgravity has so far been expected to give a better condition for protein crystal growth than on the earth. Although physical and chemical approach for the protein crystal growth under the microgravity is strongly believed to be important for the systematic protein crystal design, there are few investigations for the protein crystal growth from the mechanisctic approach of molecular assembly. Cytochromes c' are a class of c-type cytochrome, which have been found in several photosynthetic bacteria and denitrifying bacteria. Cytochrome c' from denytrifying bacteria is a positively charged protein containing a heme prothetic group covalently bound to the protein backborn through two thioether linkages as well as cytochrome c. In the space experiment STS-107, cytochrome c' from Achromobacter xylosoxifdans NCIMB 11015 was used for the crystal growth experiments based on the crystal growth mechanisms. In this paper, a preliminary X-ray topograph analyses of the crystal of cytochrome c' are also provided.
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  • Takashi YAMANE, Yuusuke NIWA, Yumiko MIYABE, Clara SHIONYU-MITSUYAMA, ...
    2004 Volume 21 Issue 1 Pages 52-
    Published: January 31, 2004
    Released: January 21, 2021
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    Two galectins isolated from the skin mucus of conger eel (Conger myriaster) , congerin I and II, are animal β-galactoside-binding lectins. Congerin I and II are homodimers of 15 kDa subunits composed of 135 and 136 amino acid residues, respectively. Congerins are seemed to participate in the self-defense system including innate immunity on the intra- and extra-body surface of conger eel. Crystals of each congerin grew to the suitable sizes for X-ray diffraction study after one month later. The crystal structures of congerin I, congerin I-lactose complex and congerin II-lactose complex have already been determined at 1. 5 Å resolution level. Refinement of the crystallization conditions to obtain congerin crystals surely within 2 weeks was attempted using a special crystallization apparatus for the STS-107 mission. The solubility, crystal growth rate and diagram of crystallization kinetics were determined for congerin I and II, respectively. Crystals with high quality grow resultingly in 2 weeks by the preliminary trials on earth. Crystals of congerin II diffract X-rays up to 1 Å resolution and are isomorphous to previous ones.
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  • Hiroshi NII, Takao HIBI, Mikio NAKAYAMA, Jun'ichi ODA, Hirohiko NAKAMU ...
    2004 Volume 21 Issue 1 Pages 63-
    Published: January 31, 2004
    Released: January 21, 2021
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    γ-Glutamylcysteine synthetase (GCS) catalyzes the first and rate-limiting step of biosynthesis of a ubiquitous tripeptide glutathione and is a target for development of potential therapeutic agents such as drugs that can suppress multidrug resistance of cancer cells. The optimization of the GCS crystallization using the High Density Protein Crystal Growth (HDPCG) cells was carried out on the ground for the microgravity crystal growth on Space Shuttle Mission STS-107. The crystals were grown using sodium formate as a precipitant and their nucleation and growth rate were analyzed. The crystallization experiments, the pH measurement and the ion chromatography suggested that formic acid was transported from the reservoir solution to the enzyme solution by vapor diffusion. Therefore, a local concentration of the precipitant on the free surface of the enzyme solution may cause the earlier nucleation as a trigger of crystallization. The final conditions of GCS crystallization were determined based on this new trigger model.
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  • Noriaki ISHIOKA, Akira HIGASHIBATA, Makoto ASASHIMA
    2004 Volume 21 Issue 1 Pages 68-
    Published: January 31, 2004
    Released: January 21, 2021
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    The life on the earth has been evolving under gravity and has resulted in today although it is still unknown how life has emerged. The gravity is always on our all living organism, and a clarification the fundamental role of gravity on the life phenomena contributes a great deal to the whole understanding about the universal life mechanisms such as development, differentiation, evolution, and so forth. We are acquiring a lot of knowledge about relation of the life and the gravity from experiments in orbit and from ground-based researches using altered gravity as the parameter. Furthermore we have also known that long-term space stay causes bone loss, muscle atrophy, alteration of immunity system, erythrocyte reductions, and so on. However a systematic elucidation of gravity affections on the life has not been achieved. For a promotion and establishment of the space life science, it is important to clarify now both a directional character and a significance of the future space life science researches faced up to utilization of the International Space Station (ISS) on the basis of previous research results and knowledge.
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  • Kouich SOGA
    2004 Volume 21 Issue 1 Pages 74-
    Published: January 31, 2004
    Released: January 21, 2021
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    Gravity is one of the most important environmental signals in regulating plant growth and development. Microgravity conditions in space are thought to be useful to clarify the role of gravity in regulating plant growth. However, the opportunity for experiments in space, which provide us with true microgravity conditions, is limited. True microgravity conditions are produced by a free fall or parabolic flight even on the ground, but the duration of microgravity obtained by these methods is generally too short for plants to exhibit obvious changes in their growth and development. A clinostat is useful for analyzing plant morphogenesis in gravity-free environment. However, the clinostat can eliminate only the dynamic gravistimulation, and does not affect the static stimulation. Hypergravity conditions, a gravitational force of more than 1 G, can be produced easily on earth by centrifugation. Hypergravity stimuli have been shown to inhibit elongation growth of shoots and roots in various plants. Our study has revealed that the metabolism of certain cell wall polysaccharides is modified under hypergravity conditions, which causes a decrease in the cell wall extensibility, thereby inhibiting elongation growth of plants. Under microgravity conditions in space, elongation growth of Arabidopsis hypocotyls and rice coleoptiles was stimulated (Space Shuttle STS-95 experiment). In addition, all cell wall parameters measured in the space experiment were opposite to those induced by hypergravity. These results suggest that hypergravity experiments are effective to clarify mechanisms regulating plant growth under microgravity conditions in space.
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  • Teruko NAKAMURA
    2004 Volume 21 Issue 1 Pages 79-
    Published: January 31, 2004
    Released: January 21, 2021
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    Gibberellin has been shown to induce tension wood in the cherry weeping branch, causing its upright growth. Recent study has shown that the cherry tree grown on three dimensional clinostat, a device that simulates microgravity, grew at random angles, and that the formation of secondary xylem was decreased. These results suggest that in attitude control and morphogenesis of stem in woody plant, secondary xylem formation seriously relates to gravity on earth. The recent study on woody plant reported the possibility that endodermal starch sheath cells and gibberellin may play some role in the gravity perception and the following signal transduction. Space experiment for woody plant is expected to study these problems.
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  • Yoshinobu OHIRA, Fuminori KAWANO, Xiao Dong WANG, Akihiko ISHIHARA
    2004 Volume 21 Issue 1 Pages 83-
    Published: January 31, 2004
    Released: January 21, 2021
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    The responses of neuromuscular system to exposure to microgravity environment were studied in both human and rats. Both acute and chronic unloading inhibited the electromyogram activities of antigravity muscles. These phenomena were associated with an inhibition of afferent input. Detrimental effects on the neuromuscular coordination and/or work performance were also noted in response to chronic gravitational unloading. It is suggested that these results are related to the altered mobilization of motor units rather than the decreased tension development due to muscle atrophy.
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  • Naomi KATAYAMA
    2004 Volume 21 Issue 1 Pages 88-
    Published: January 31, 2004
    Released: January 21, 2021
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    The vestibular (otolith and semicircular-canal) organ is important to maintain the body balance and visual stability under the earth-gravity environment. It is necessary to know further the physiological function of the otolith organ to advance understanding the mechanism of space motion sickness. Eye movement analysis is useful to study the vestibular function, though the research of the otolith organ is taking delay in comparison with the research of the semicircular canals. In this report, I briefed how early the otolith organ grows up in the fetal stages, the history and background of vestibulo-ocular researches, and the methods of eye-movement recording available for the vestibular research. In human microgravity studies, there are several episodes indicating usefulness of the eye-movement analysis. Among the sensoryconflict theories for generation of the space motion sickness, my own interest is the sensory-compensation hypothesis. Because, according to our sensory-conflict study using a large-scale linear accelerator, the visual-vestibular interaction under an unusual stimulus-combination induces motion sickness and also provokes suppression of the vestibulo-ocular reflex in the otolith system, in contrast to the canal system.
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  • Akira MURAKAMI
    2004 Volume 21 Issue 1 Pages 93-
    Published: January 31, 2004
    Released: January 21, 2021
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    Many ciliates swim upwards against sedimentation by gravity. The negative gravitaxis of Paramecium disappears in solutions of about the same specific gravity (sp.gr.) of the cells (1.04). The gravitaxis becomes positive in solutions of higher sp.gr. (l.08). This result indicates that the gravitaxis is related to the movement of the cells relative to the medium. The results of parabolic flight experiments and those of free fall experiments indicate that the gravitactic behaviour is the topotaxis of the organisms. Free-fall experiment using solutions of various sp. gr. is a useful method for investigating the gravitactic responses. Effects of reduced gravity have been observed by using a drop tower, which provides a transitional phase of low gravity before starting the free fall. Some changes in parameters of the helical tracks, such as an increase in wavelength, were observed after the start of the low gravity phase.
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  • Setsuko ISHIGURO
    2004 Volume 21 Issue 1 Pages 99-
    Published: January 31, 2004
    Released: January 21, 2021
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    As activities in space become more common, it becomes increasingly important to examine human behavior under microgravity from the viewpoint of arts and culture. This study aims at performing dances under microgravity environment, and at making a comparison between the actual performance and what ancient people imagined it to be like dancing in such an environment. Among many cultures that have imagined celestial beings flying, this study focuses on the murals of flying deities (hiten in Japanese) in Dunhuang, China and Asuka, Japan.
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