Japan Partnering Award: UK/Japan joint space biology mission

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: School of Medicine

Abstract

Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title MME Logo 
Description We developed, in collaboration with a semi-professional artist, a logo for our MM experiment. 
Type Of Art Artwork 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact This logo has been used in our educational outreach and media activities for the MM experiment. It has been distributed internationally to space sector workers, students, media, and the general public. General feedback has been that makes people feel more connected to the experiment and that, for space sector workers, it makes them feel more appreciated and part of the team. For the general public the main reaction has been my kids will love this. The logo can be found above "MME" on the link below. 
URL https://www.mme-spaceworms.com/
 
Description We have discovered that Japanese produced spaceflight hardware performs better in ground testing than initially tested UK/EU produced hardware. We have also discovered that Japanese researchers have a better experience base with space biology experiments launched via SpaceX than UK/EU researchers. Both discoveries have immensely helped us avoid wasted time on discovering internationally known solutions and in staying on track for our scheduled spaceflight launch.
Exploitation Route Our key findings about the Japanese experience base are immediately being taken forward by ourselves and the Japanese by collaborating on future spaceflight ventures run by the UK and Japan.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Government, Democracy and Justice

 
Description The University of Nottingham and Tohoku University have signed an MTA with regards to the experiments. Japanese spaceflight hardware has been provided to the UK team for use on the experiment as well as on a follow on experiment. Japanese flight samples have been flown. Japanese assistance in processing the samples pre-flight has been provided. We have engaged with a South Korean collaborator of the Japan team who will also participate in follow up spaceflight experiments. The gene expression work from Japan and the UK has led to our being invited to participate in and now lead the NASA Genelab Analysis Working Group due to our international expertise in C. elegans gene expression changes in space. Lastly, Japan will participate in a 2021 UK follow on spaceflight experiment and the UK will participate in a 2021 JAXA spaceflight experiment.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Education,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Consultation in advance of UK's attendance at the Second International Space Forum
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
 
Description ESA Life Sciences' ministerial prep
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
Impact Evaluated ESA Life Sciences review and proposal(s) for resource allocation in the next increment of International Space Station utilization following the next ministerial. Consultation included discussion of use of NASA, JAXA, and commercial facilities in shaping ESA's approach to ESA requirements vs. shared facilities. Full impact is yet to be realized as the outcome of the ministerial is not yet known.
 
Description NASA GeneLab Animal AWG lead
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Have agreed to chair NASA GeneLab's Animal Analysis Working Group. So far, discussions about the best use of NASA, NASA contractor, and University members as well as the nature of PGR/post-doc contributions are appropriately weighted and recognized have taken place. Additionally, using GeneLab data/work to influence future spaceflight experiments has also taken place. It remains to early too see the full impact of chairing this group upon NASA or ESA policy, JAXA policy is unlikely to be influenced.
 
Description NASA Genelab AWG
Geographic Reach North America 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact The NASA GeneLab Analysis Working Group evaluated several pipelines for gene expression analysis and eventually settled on a single unified pathway. The pathway is used to process datasets by the AWG which are then made publicly available for further analysis using the NASA GeneLab online platform which requires a google mail account but is otherwise freely accessible to anyone. In practical terms this means that anyone can access published and/or deposited spaceflight gene expression data and can look at and analyze that data without requiring specialist skills. In addition to making NASA, and other government funded, data freely available in a usable format the AWG work has improved bioinformatic skills in PhD students, PGRs, PIs, NASA employees, and NASA contractors. This same group of individuals has also increased their knowledge of biological alterations in response to spaceflight.
URL https://genelab.nasa.gov/
 
Description NASA lunar commercialization
Geographic Reach North America 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
Impact Participated in a consultation with NASA and companies interested in commercial opportunities as they relate to the Moon. Companies were interested in both traditional government customer models and new models of commercialization. Discussion revolved around these topics and the realities of achieving success and economic return for the interested companies. The results of the consultation were that several companies changed plans and did not respond to the NASA commercial opportunities on/around the Moon call while several others were successful with their bids. The improved knowledge of the landscape was transferred to several companies and some of the successful bids are decreasing public spend vs. NASA having to produce these products.
 
Description NASA/Northrop Grumman consultation
Geographic Reach North America 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
Impact Participated in a NASA/Northrop Grumman consultation on processing late access payloads at the Wallops launch facility. Following on from this consultation improved laboratory facilities were agreed, particularly in relation to a local medical school which will now be directly linked to NASA Space Biology, and improved ability to deliver life sciences payloads to the ISS by NG has been achieved. This success is evidenced by a shift within the US payload integration community to favor Wallops over KSC for NASA funded payloads.
 
Description Examining the impact of inactivity and diet on muscle health with age in C. elegans
Amount £324,963 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/S002863/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2019 
End 01/2022
 
Description UK Space Agency call for National Experiments
Amount £440,000 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/S006338/1 
Organisation UK Space Agency 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2018 
End 08/2021
 
Title Improved C. elegans model for DMD research 
Description In evaluating DMD models for use in our spaceflight experiments we have discovered one newer DMD model more completely models the symptoms of DMD than others. Specifically, this model is weaker, has poorer mitochondrial health, has poorer excitation contraction coupling, and poorer response to anesthesia than existing models. Of note, the strength loss and anesthesia sensitivity are directly relevant to the human disease. 
Type Of Material Model of mechanisms or symptoms - non-mammalian in vivo 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The development of this model has lead us to discover a new drug for treating DMD. It has also led to new Japan/UK collaboration on potential mechanisms. The full impact is too early to judge as work remains ongoing. 
URL http://dmm.biologists.org/content/early/2018/11/02/dmm.036137
 
Description JAXA2021 
Organisation Tohoku University
Country Japan 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We will contribute novel hypotheses for testing in a JAXA managed spaceflight experiment.
Collaborator Contribution Our partners will provide the spaceflight mission and coordinate its operation.
Impact Outcomes will come after the mission flies.
Start Year 2018
 
Description MME2 collaboration 
Organisation Rutgers University
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are continuing the collaboration with Japan via inviting them to participate in our next spaceflight mission, MME2. We are similarly continuing the previous MME collaboration with selected partners in MME2.
Collaborator Contribution Our partners will provide novel hypothesis for us to test on MME2.
Impact No outputs expected until the mission flies.
Start Year 2018
 
Description MME2 collaboration 
Organisation Texas Tech University
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are continuing the collaboration with Japan via inviting them to participate in our next spaceflight mission, MME2. We are similarly continuing the previous MME collaboration with selected partners in MME2.
Collaborator Contribution Our partners will provide novel hypothesis for us to test on MME2.
Impact No outputs expected until the mission flies.
Start Year 2018
 
Description MME2 collaboration 
Organisation Tohoku University
Country Japan 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are continuing the collaboration with Japan via inviting them to participate in our next spaceflight mission, MME2. We are similarly continuing the previous MME collaboration with selected partners in MME2.
Collaborator Contribution Our partners will provide novel hypothesis for us to test on MME2.
Impact No outputs expected until the mission flies.
Start Year 2018
 
Description MME2 collaboration 
Organisation Yonsei University
Country Korea, Republic of 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are continuing the collaboration with Japan via inviting them to participate in our next spaceflight mission, MME2. We are similarly continuing the previous MME collaboration with selected partners in MME2.
Collaborator Contribution Our partners will provide novel hypothesis for us to test on MME2.
Impact No outputs expected until the mission flies.
Start Year 2018
 
Description South Korean participation in MME 
Organisation Yonsei University
Country Korea, Republic of 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have processed the paperwork for a South Korean (SK) investigator to join our ESA selected spaceflight experiment. We have also outlined the experimental plan for SK participation.
Collaborator Contribution Our Japanese partners introduced us to an investigator from South Korean and have facilitated communication with regards to operational logistics and experiment selection for the SK participant. Our new SK collaborator has done some ground testing to validate his proposed experiment will work.
Impact This collaboration is still early stage, the experiment is currently set for launch in 2018.
Start Year 2017
 
Description BBC Breakfast 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact BBC Breakfast filmed the pre-flight Experiment Verification Test and broadcast interviews with some video from the test explaining the purpose of the experiment and why this is a first for the UK. Follow on media requests occurred.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description BBC Word Service Radio Interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Gave an interview for BBC world service.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description BBC breakfast 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Coordinated a UK Space Agency appearance for an interview on BBC Breakfast, provided up to date information from launch site prior to going on air. Several follow up contacts from the schools, the general public, scientists, and industry expressed great pleasure in seeing the coverage of the experiment on BBC Breakfast and stated they felt personally involved as the result of the media coverage. Most commonly requested was more tweets as things progressed. This has changed our engagement strategy going forward and we will adopt more of BBSRC's social engagement methods in the future as they seemed very successful based upon feedback at all levels.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description BBC new 2 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Gave an interview.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-46439428
 
Description BBC news 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Gave an interview and coordinated updates from launch site with the UK Space Agency and BBSRC for use in coordinated BBC coverage. Feedback from this particular story was that people (general public and scientists) felt personally involved with the experiment due to the ability to follow the difficulties of launch slip. A greater appreciation of the complexities of launch operations were reported.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-46438759
 
Description BBSRC Business winter 2017 newsletter 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Provided graphics for a story highlighting the BBSRC funding of space biology experiments. Coverage led to increased interest in a coordinated press/media/engagement plan as we moved forward to launch.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://bbsrc.ukri.org/documents/bbsrc-business-winter-2017-pdf/
 
Description BBSRC Business winter 2018 newsletter 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Provided graphics and interviews for BBSRC business winter news letter with a full update on successful launch. BBSRC reported being very happy with the piece and the overall campaign, ESA space biology reported being very happy that BBSRC felt engaged and was happy with the engagement campaign.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://bbsrc.ukri.org/documents/bbsrc-business-winter-2018-pdf/
 
Description BBSRC press release 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Coordinated a press release for launch of the MM experiment with BBSRC. BBSRC reported being very pleased with the overall press coverage/media interaction and engagement from the Science minister.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://bbsrc.ukri.org/news/health/2018/181203-pr-launch-first-uk-led-experiment-to-international-sp...
 
Description BBSRC twitter 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Coordinated social media tweets on the MM experiment with BBSRC. An example of a tweet is given below. Feedback from the general public, schools, and scientists was that these tweets really made them feel personally engaged in the experiment and put more requests for updates from launch upon us. Our decision to have a dedicated social media/media manager on site for launch proved valuable as did coordination with BBSRC media as we were able to get things out at appropriate UK local times despite the time difference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://twitter.com/bbsrc/status/1068444611138527232?lang=en-gb
 
Description Biocair 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Provided graphics and interview for Biocair to run a web news story promoting their logistics as reliable for use with spaceflight samples.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.biocair.com/latest/news/biocair-helps-send-worms-into-space
 
Description ESA twitter 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Coordinated social media coverage of the MM experiment with the ESA spaceflight twitter stream. (17-Dec tweet)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://twitter.com/esaspaceflight
 
Description ESA website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Provided images and quotes for a coordinated ESA webpage on the MME experiment pre-launch. Media follow up requests were received and several space agency employees (ESA, NASA) commented on how nice/good the page was as did several professional scientists.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Human_and_Robotic_Exploration/Research/Worms_in_space_to_understa...
 
Description Florida Today 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Gave two interviews and assisted in providing artwork and context for a story to run in Florida Today which, like many space stories, subsequently picked up by US National outlets.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://eu.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2018/11/30/heres-why-spacexs-next-launch-florid...
 
Description ISS twitter 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Coordinated a tweet about the MM experiment from the ISS twitter account (17-Dec tweet). ISS crew reported being excited about our experiment and the ESA team supporting our experiment was thrilled to see the experiment being recognized by the crew.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://twitter.com/ISS_Research
 
Description NASA KSC display 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Provided graphics and descriptions of the MM experiment for use on the NASA KSC video loop on the experiments being prepared for the current launch. NASA and contractors reported being particularly interested in the payload and visited our lab in person. NASA space biology in particular was curious how we managed to coordinate so many samples, so many countries, and how the whole experiment was possible given the complexities of it still being a single PI led experiment. NASA space biology has agreed to further explore our collaborative model and we have agree to support them in making such applications to NASA, if they wish. We also agreed to test working with GeneLab on a future flight.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description NASA press conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Participated in a NASA press conference in advance of launching the MM experiment. This resulted in several stories being run as well as follow up interviews which lead to international media coverage, notably via the Associated Press.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description NASA website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Established a NASA hosted web-page documenting the ESA experiment for public engagement and historical archiving purposes. The page links to our public outreach page
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/2615.html
 
Description Radio 4's Today Programme 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Gave an interview on Radio 4.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Schools day at launch 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Provided an open day at NASA KSC for three primary school children (one UK, two US). The day consisted of meeting UK and Japanese team members, seeing the spaceflight hardware, touring KSC, interacting with the displays at the KSC visitor centre, and meeting an NASA astronaut. Students were also given MME t-shirts. The MME team members (post-docs, other PIs, and other PI labs) also toured KSC and the visitor centre. The students reported that the day was "very cool", that space was very cool, and that they might like to be astronauts when they grow up but maybe not scientists. The student's family's reported that the day was much more impressive and exciting than they had anticipated/imagined.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Space yoga 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Helped guerilla science produce a space yoga podcast on muscle and bone in space. This particular podcast is aimed at engaging individuals who may not normally engage with science via working science into yoga sessions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
URL http://guerillascience.org/event/space-yoga-on-youtube/
 
Description The Conversation 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Article describing the MM experiment was published in the Conversation. This was read by more that 3,500 people and resulted in several media follow up requests.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://theconversation.com/worms-in-space-why-we-are-launching-them-107906
 
Description Twitter 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A twitter account was set up and used to tweet about outreach and mission activities. The general public, MPs, charitable donors, PGR and undergradutes, study participants and patient groups, industry and third sector organizations, and the media engaged with our twitter feed often following up with retweets or, more commonly, direct e-mails to the team. The platform worked far better than the website for engaging via up-dates from the launch site and coordinating media coverage. ESA and BBSRC in particular commented on their pleasure with the regularity of updates from the launch site. ESA also expressed gratitude at our efforts and a desire that future ESA missions would engage with the public via twitter as we have.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018,2019
URL https://twitter.com/worms_space
 
Description UK Space Agency press release 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Coordinated a press release with the UK Space Agency.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-crew-and-uk-experiment-head-to-the-international-space-statio...
 
Description UK Space Agency press release 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Coordinated a press release with the UK Space Agency in advance of BBC Breakfast airing a piece on our experiment. The Science Minister seemed particularly engaged and we provided him a briefing prior to a planned appearance on BBC Breakfast to coincide with the piece on the experiment.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/news/worms-in-space-the-molecular-muscle-experiment
 
Description UK Space Agency twitter 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Coordinated tweets about the MM experiment with the UK Space Agency twitter feed. An example tweet showing the high level of engagement with the Science Minister is given below.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://twitter.com/spacegovuk/status/1039396925223530498
 
Description USA Today 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Gave an interview.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description University of Nottingham press release 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact The university of Nottingham issued a coordinated press release in advance of experiment launch. Follow up requests were made by the media.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/news/pressreleases/2018/december/blast-off-for-first-uk-led-experiment-...
 
Description medium.com 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Gave a follow up interview by e-mail post press conference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://medium.com/life-on-the-other-planets-whats-new/36-000-worms-will-launch-into-space-for-an-ex...
 
Description space.com 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Gave an interview and provided artwork.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.space.com/42605-lasers-crystals-worms-spacex-cargo-launch.html
 
Description spaceflight insider 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Gave an interview.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.spaceflightinsider.com/organizations/space-exploration-technologies/spacex-set-to-launch...