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NASA Selects 10 Proposals for Unprecedented Twin Astronaut Study



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-- WITH PHOTO -- TO HEALTH, MEDICAL, AND SCIENCE EDITORS:

NASA Selects 10 Proposals for Unprecedented Twin Astronaut Study

WASHINGTON, March 7, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Only one set of

twins has ever been into space, and now those twins are providing an

unprecedented opportunity for scientists to understand better the

effects of microgravity on the human body.

NASA's Human Research Program (HRP) will fund 10 short-term,

first-of-its-kind investigations into the molecular, physiological and

psychological effects of spaceflight in a continuous effort to reduce

the health impacts of human space exploration. The National Space

Biomedical Research Institute is partnering with HRP to provide

genetic counseling and assisting in the management of the research.

This unique opportunity is made possible by NASA's decision to fly

veteran astronaut Scott Kelly aboard the International Space Station

for one year, beginning March 2015, while his identical twin brother,

retired astronaut Mark Kelly, remains on Earth.

This study will focus in part on the comparison of blood samples

collected from Scott and Mark at regular intervals before, during and

after the one-year mission. Physiological and psychological testing

also will be conducted on the brothers before, during and after the

mission.

Scientific and technical experts from academia and government reviewed

40 proposals submitted in response to the research announcement "Human

Exploration Research Opportunities - Differential Effects on

Homozygous Twin Astronauts Associated with Differences in Exposure to

Spaceflight Factors." The 10 selected proposals, which are from 10

institutions in seven states, will receive a combined $1.5 million

during a three-year period.

HRP regularly assesses crew health and performance during spaceflight

to evaluate associated risks. From these assessments, HRP develops

strategies to monitor and mitigate these risks. These studies often

have the considerable added benefit of advancing health care for

people on Earth.

For a complete list of the selected proposals, principal investigators

and organizations, visit:

http://go.nasa.gov/1cx1mWZ

For information about NASA's Human Research Program, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/humanresearch/

For information on the National Space Biomedical Research Institute,

visit:

http://www.nsbri.org/

For information about the International Space Station, its crews and

research, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/station

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO

SOURCE NASA

-0- 03/07/2014

/CONTACT: Joshua Buck, Headquarters, Washington, 202-358-1100, jbuck@nasa.gov; William Jeffs, Johnson Space Center, Houston, 281-483-5111, william.p.jeffs@nasa.gov

/Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO

PRN Photo Desk photodesk@prnewswire.com

/Web Site: http://www.nasa.gov

CO: NASA

ST: District of Columbia New Jersey

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0000 03/07/2014 19:24:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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