Navigation Links
Florida Tech Research Team Earns Competitive Grant, Begins ISS Mission Biology Experiment

MELBOURNE, Fla., Feb. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Florida Institute of Technology researchers have won a prestigious grant enabling their biology experiment to travel on a flight to the International Space Station (ISS). Their proposal, "Self-Assembly in Biology and the Origin of Life (SABOL): A Study into Alzheimer's," was just one of eight proposals chosen by Space Florida and NanoRacks, LLC, in the ISS Research Competition. 

(Logo: )

For the International Space Station experiment, the winners receive payload transportation to the ISS via an upcoming SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Launch is currently slated for September 2013.

Florida Tech faculty researchers are former astronaut Sam Durrance, professor of physics and space sciences; and College of Engineering faculty members Daniel Kirk and Hector Gutierrez . They will work with about 30 science and engineering students to design and develop the payload and analyze the data.

"We seek to gain an improved understanding of the origin of life on our planet and of Alzheimer's disease, and provide an opportunity to apply this new understanding for the betterment of humanity," said Durrance.

Durrance leads the biological science experiment, which will investigate the spontaneous assembly of amyloid proteins into long linear fibers. Postmortem studies of neurons taken from Alzheimer's disease victims show accumulated linear amyloid fibers composed of either Tau proteins or amyloid-beta peptides.  Both can self-organize in solution through colloidal interactions.

However, the mechanisms of amyloid fiber assembly are difficult to study on Earth because the protein fibers settle, which prevents further growth.  In weightlessness they should stay suspended and continue growing with multiple fibers wrapping around each other into helical fiber bundles. Analyzing these fiber bundles should improve the understanding of the internal structure of the amyloid fibers. The researchers believe that understanding the colloidal chemistry and biochemistry of amyloid fiber formation should lead to strategies for controlling the process.

The experiment will include about nine different incubation periods from one to 30 days during orbit operations. When the buffer solution and protein powder are mixed and the temperature is set, it takes about a day to agglomerate into protein spheres, a few days to form fibers and a week or more to become tangling fibers, which in 30 days on Earth, would settle.

The experiment, to be contained in a payload unit called a NanoLab Module—a four-inch cube—can be manipulated and monitored from Florida Tech laboratories while in flight. 

For more information on SABOL, contact Durrance at, 321-674-7313 or Kirk at

About Florida Institute of Technology
Founded at the dawn of the Space Race in 1958, Florida Tech is the only independent, technological university in the Southeast. The university is designated a Tier One Best National University in U.S. News & World Report, and is one of just nine schools in Florida lauded by the 2012 Fiske Guide to Colleges and recognized by Bloomberg Businessweek as the best college for return on investment in Florida. Additional information is available online at


SOURCE Florida Institute of Technology
Copyright©2012 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related biology technology :

1. Fortis Offers Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree Program to Florida Students
2. Floridas Leading Fertility Center Announces Successful Baby Delivery via Egg Freezing
3. IntelliCell BioSciences Announces Collaborative Agreement with the University of Florida on Stem Cell and Tissue Repair Research
4. University of Florida physicists set new record for graphene solar cell efficiency
5. Tropical Storm Debby Pounds Florida With Heavy Rain. Green Bean Buddy Gives Reason Why Home Owners Should Prepare For Mold Outbreaks
6. Medtech Expands Nursing Education Opportunities In Florida
7. OncoSec Secures License for Electroporation Intellectual Property from University of South Florida
8. Store-A-Toothâ„¢ Dental Stem Cell Banking Announces Appointment of Dedicated Representative in South Florida
9. Florida-Based Team Gemini Signs Recycling Facility Agreement with Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio
10. Wolters Kluwer Research Now Available via Bloomberg Tradebook
11. ACORN Research, LLC Announces Partnership with AdeptBio, LLC
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 Studies reveal the differences ... and pave the way for more effective treatment for one ...   --> --> ... problems in cats, yet relatively little was understood about the ... have been conducted by researchers from the WALTHAM Centre for ...
(Date:11/25/2015)...  Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: NBIX ) announced ... of Neurocrine Biosciences, will be presenting at the 27th ... York . .   ... minutes prior to the presentation to download or install ... be available on the website approximately one hour after ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... A long-standing partnership between ... (OPBAP) has been formalized with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. , ... leaders Capt. Karl Minter and Capt. Albert Glenn Tuesday, November 24, 2015, at ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 25, 2015 ... Report is a professional and in-depth study on ...      (Logo: ) , ... the industry including definitions, classifications, applications and industry ... for the international markets including development trends, competitive ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:11/20/2015)... -- NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), ... commerce market and creator of the Wocket® smart wallet, ... interviewed on The RedChip Money Report television ... Bloomberg Europe , Bloomberg Asia, Bloomberg Australia, and ... ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), a biometric authentication company ...
(Date:11/19/2015)... -- Although some 350 companies are actively involved in molecular ... according to Kalorama Information. These include Roche Diagnostics, Hologic, Abbott ... of the 6.1 billion-dollar molecular testing market, according to ... Diagnostic s .    ... one company and only a handful of companies can ...
(Date:11/18/2015)... , November 18, 2015 ... published a new market report titled  Gesture Recognition Market ... Forecast, 2015 - 2021. According to the report, the global gesture ... is anticipated to reach US$29.1 bn by 2021, at ... North America dominated the global ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):