L+150: Logbook

Hey, I didn’t forget that I promised to talk to you about the NATO experiment!

On Wednesday I wrapped up NATO by removing the experiment containers from the Kubik incubator and putting them into the MELFI freezer, their biological state being frozen until researchers on the ground can get hold of them and do their post-flight analysis.

The full name of the experiment is Nanoparticles and Osteoporosis and, like Osteo-4 from the last logbook, it studies the bone. But while Osteo-4 is interested in determining the mechanisms that make us loose bone mass in microgravity, NATO want to see what we can do about it and, in particular, if a particular type of nanoparticles could be effective in counteracting bone loss.

See, it’s not very intuitive, but bone is a living tissue that is constantly destroyed and reformed. Cells called osteoclasts destroy bone, other cells called osteoblasts produce new bone. As long as destruction and production are in balance, everything is good, but in weightlessness this balance is disturbed and osteoclasts win. That’s also what happens when people suffer of osteoporosis, unfortunately a common problem!

NATO observes in vitro the effects of adding to bone tissue  various doses of “strontium-containing-hydroxyapatite-nanoparticles”, or nHAP-Sr. Some ground studies have suggested that adding nHAP-Sr could be effective in impeding osteoclasts in their bone-destructing job, which would promote a more favorable balance in the bone destruction/production cycle. A promising research for us astronauts in space and for people on the ground suffering from bone loss!

But it’s not science all the time up here of course. We do need to keep the Station up and running, which also means periodically changing the Recycle Tank in our Urine Processing Assembly, or UPA. You can see the UPA in the picture, it occupies the deck area beneath our space toilet. What’s left of our urine after being processed in UPA, a dense greenish and not-so-pleasant-smelly liquid called brine, is collected in the recycle tank, which of course needs to be swapped when full.

But I did end the day with another cool new experiment called Nematode muscle. I’ll tell you all about it next time!

Futura mission website (Italian): Avamposto42
avamposto42.esa.int

#SamLogbook #Futura42  

(Trad IT)  Traduzione in italiano a cura di +AstronautiNEWS 
qui: http://www.astronautinews.it/tag/logbook

(Trad FR) Traduction en français par +Anne G  ici: https://spacetux.org/cpamoa/category/traductions/logbook-samantha

(Trad ES) Tradducción en español por
+Carlos Lallana Borobio
http://laesteladegagarin.blogspot.com.es/search/label/SamLogBook

(Trad DE)  Deutsch von http://www.logbuch-iss.de
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