Editor’s note: The following is from new contributor Karen Cyphers.
This story is near to my heart on two fronts: space travel and Alzheimer’s research.
On Tuesday, researchers at the Florida Institute of Technology won a competitive grant through Space Florida and NanoRocks, LLC, to receive payload transportation to the International Space Station (ISS) in September 2013.
Their study, “Self-Assembly in Biology and the Origin of Life: A Study into Alzheimer’s” will look at how amyloid proteins (thought to contribute to Alzheimer’s disease) assemble into long, linear fibers — a process that is difficult to study on Earth because gravity causes proteins fibers to settle. The goal is that in the weightless environment of space, researchers will be able to observe the growth of fibers, gain understanding about their nature, and lead to strategies for controlling the process.
The payload will travel to the ISS via a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. A team of 30 science and engineering students, led by former astronaut and physics professor Sam Durrance, will be able to monitor and manipulate their experiment from Florida Tech laboratories.
For more information, visit here.
PS. My father, who has early stage Alzheimer’s, volunteers to join the payload in space… anything for science 😉
Via Karen Cyphers, PhD. — a public policy consultant, researcher, and mother to three girls. You may reach Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org.