Cell Biology

Augusto Cogoli

Zero-g Life Tec GmbH, Zurich, Switzerland

The discipline of Cell Biology examines biological processes at the levl of the basic unit of biology, the cell. Cell Biology focus principally on events intrinsic to individual cells and on cellular responses to environmental factors. Cell Biology therefore provides the underpinning for other disciplines relevant to Space Biology, including Development Biology, Radiation Biology (see individual chapters of this report), as well as Space Physiology and Medicine. Each of these areas of research at the tissue and organism levels ultimately depends on the normal function of individual cells and their integration into physiological networks. This section reviews the effects of spaceflight on bacteria, unicellular organisms, and human cells. Although the majority of these experiments are primarily of fundamental interest, the effects of gravity and micro-gravity on various processes at a systemic and cellular level reveal basic phenomena also relevant in non-spaceflight related sciences, such as in the area of biotechnology.

Figure 4-01. STS-107 Astronauts Laurel B. Clark and Rick D. Husband conducting an experiment in the Biopack incubator on the middeck of the Space Shuttle Columbia. Photo courtesy of NASA.

Figure 4-01. STS-107 Astronauts Laurel B. Clark and Rick D. Husband conducting an experiment in the Biopack incubator on the middeck of the Space Shuttle Columbia. Photo courtesy of NASA.

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