Protein Binding Experiments on the International Space Station

Two scientists at Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute, Dr. Steve Vasile and Dr. Siobhan Malany, wanted to know whether protein binding is affected by zero gravity. So they hitched a ride on the International Space Station – at least their experiment did. Because a drug's efficacy may be affected by the degree to which it binds to the proteins within blood plasma, work such as this is essential to drug discovery. Applications range from how drugs would work in space to the discovery of new cellular pathways that can serve as targets for new drugs. In this short video, researchers Vasile and Malany describe the goal of their experiment, how they used Molecular Probes fluorescein products from Thermo Fisher Scientific to accomplish it and what they learned from their first foray into space.

We’ve asked whether or not a biological process, specifically the binding of molecules, behaves the same in space as it would behave on earth.”

Steve Vasile, Ph.D. Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute
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