Selected Publications

Scientific discoveries at the speed of news
March 2018 –

First GeneLab-Generated Research Article Published in Scientific Reports

An original research article led by GeneLab scientists, titled “Global Transcriptomic Analysis Suggests Carbon Dioxide as an Environmental Stressor in Spaceflight: A Systems Biology GeneLab Case Study” was published in the March 2018 issue of Scientific Reports, part of the Nature publishing group. This landmark paper represents the first scientific publication wholly derived from publically available GeneLab data, illustrating the process of generating new hypotheses and informing future experimental research by repurposing multiple space-flown datasets.

The research team, led by GeneLab scientists Afshin Beheshti, Egle Cekanaviciute, David J. Smith, and Sylvain V. Costes, examined how rodent cage architecture might influence atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, and consequently, physiological responses in spaceflight. The entire analysis was done using free and open GeneLab data from rodent research experiments previously flown on the Space Shuttle and International Space Station. Through a systems biology approach, the authors concluded that rodent cage types (producing carbon dioxide differences) could be influencing metabolism, immune response, and potentially the activation of cancer-related pathways. Research insights could shed light on experimental designs for rodent research and ultimately the biological risks for astronauts associated with long-term space missions.

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Animal Enclosure Module (AEM); Sample viviarium cage
July 2017 –

New Study Mines Data from GeneLab Resulting in
Validation of Methods

Chapes paper on journal cover

Antibodies are protein molecules in our bodies that help us resist infectious disease. The Chapes Lab at Kansas State University, in collaboration with the Pecaut Lab at Loma Linda University, are interested in the genes that are expressed and used during the assembly of antibody molecules, and the impact of spaceflight on that process.

Researchers at both labs have analyzed data from the GeneLab Data System, from mice liver tissue in two separate datasets (GLDS-47GLDS-48) that were generated from mice flown to and housed on the International Space Station. These data were used to help develop the methods – bioinformatic workflow – which were needed to process the data. The GeneLab data were used to validate the workflow and to make comparisons to sequencing data obtained at Kansas State University. The Chapes and Pecaut labs made preliminary comparisons between the immunoglobulin gene used in the spleen compared to the liver, because these data were publically available in the GeneLab Data System.

The results of this study were published in July in the journal Gravitational and Space Research(5(1): 23; issue. This work was supported by NASA grants NNX13AN34G and NNX15AB45G.

By Stephen Chapes, Principal Investigator, Kansas State University, Chapes Lab