BioMed Research International

How Microgravity Affects the Biology of Living Systems


Publishing date
21 Nov 2014
Status
Published
Submission deadline
04 Jul 2014

1Sapienza University of Rome, Systems Biology Group, Department of Experimental Medicine and Scientific Committee Italian Space Agency, Via A. Scarpa 16, 00161 Rome, Italy

2Dutch Experiment Support Center, (DESC) Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery/Oral Pathology, VU University Medical Center and Department of Oral Cell Biology, Academic Centre for Dentistry (ACTA), Amsterdam, The Netherlands

3ASA Campus Jount Laboratory, ASA Research Division, Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences, University of Florence, Italy


How Microgravity Affects the Biology of Living Systems

Description

Gravity has constantly influenced both physical and biological phenomena throughout all the Earth’s history. The gravitational field has probably played a major role in shaping evolution when life moved from water to land, even if, for a while, it has been generally deemed to influence natural selection only by limiting the range of acceptable body sizes, according to Galilei’s principle. Indeed, to counteract gravity, living organisms would need to develop systems to provide cell membrane rigidity, fluid flow regulation, and appropriate structural support and locomotion. However, gravity may influence in a more deep and subtle fashion the way the cells behave and build themselves. Gravity, indeed, represents an ‘inescapable’ constraint that obliges living beings to adopt only a few configurations among many others. By ‘removing’ the gravitational field, living structures will be free to recover more degrees of freedom, thus acquiring new phenotypes and new functions/properties. That statement raises several crucial questions. Some of these entail fundamentals of theoretical biology, as they question the gene- centered paradigm, according to which biological behavior can be explained by solely genetic mechanisms. Indeed, influence of physical cues in biology (and, in particular, on gene expression) is still now largely overlooked. This is why it has been argued that the ultimate reason for human space exploration is precisely to enable us to discover ourselves. Undoubtedly, the microgravitational-space field presents an unlimited horizon for investigation and discovery. Controlled studies conducted in microgravity can advance our knowledge, providing amazing insights into the biological mechanism underlying physiology as well as many relevant diseases, like cancer. Thereby, space-based investigations may serve as a novel paradigm for innovation in basic and applied science. Potential topics include, but not limited to:

  • Direct and indirect mechanisms of gravity sensing by cells and tissues
  • Shape, Cytoskeletal, and nucleoskeletal changes in microgravity
  • Changes in molecular pathways upon microgravity exposure
  • How microgravity affects gene expression and gene-regulatory circuits
  • Technological devices and flight opportunities in microgravity-based investigations
  • Experimental models in microgravity: from 2D to 3D cell cultures

Before submission authors should carefully read over the journal’s Author Guidelines, which are located at http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/guidelines/. Prospective authors should submit an electronic copy of their complete manuscript through the journal Manuscript Tracking System at http://mts.hindawi.com/submit/journals/bmri/cell.biology/mabl/ according to the following timetable:


Articles

  • Special Issue
  • - Volume 2015
  • - Article ID 863075
  • - Editorial

How Microgravity Affects the Biology of Living Systems

Mariano Bizzarri | Monica Monici | Jack J. W. A. van Loon
  • Special Issue
  • - Volume 2015
  • - Article ID 971474
  • - Review Article

Simulated Microgravity: Critical Review on the Use of Random Positioning Machines for Mammalian Cell Culture

Simon L. Wuest | Stéphane Richard | ... | Marcel Egli
  • Special Issue
  • - Volume 2015
  • - Article ID 167642
  • - Research Article

Space Flight Effects on Antioxidant Molecules in Dry Tardigrades: The TARDIKISS Experiment

Angela Maria Rizzo | Tiziana Altiero | ... | Lorena Rebecchi
  • Special Issue
  • - Volume 2015
  • - Article ID 976458
  • - Research Article

Genes Required for Survival in Microgravity Revealed by Genome-Wide Yeast Deletion Collections Cultured during Spaceflight

Corey Nislow | Anna Y. Lee | ... | Timothy G. Hammond
  • Special Issue
  • - Volume 2015
  • - Article ID 754283
  • - Research Article

RCCS Bioreactor-Based Modelled Microgravity Induces Significant Changes on In Vitro 3D Neuroglial Cell Cultures

Caterina Morabito | Nathalie Steimberg | ... | Maria A. Mariggiò
  • Special Issue
  • - Volume 2015
  • - Article ID 342565
  • - Research Article

Large Artery Remodeling and Dynamics following Simulated Microgravity by Prolonged Head-Down Tilt Bed Rest in Humans

Carlo Palombo | Carmela Morizzo | ... | Michaela Kozakova
  • Special Issue
  • - Volume 2015
  • - Article ID 475935
  • - Research Article

A Tissue Retrieval and Postharvest Processing Regimen for Rodent Reproductive Tissues Compatible with Long-Term Storage on the International Space Station and Postflight Biospecimen Sharing Program

Vijayalaxmi Gupta | Lesya Holets-Bondar | ... | Joseph S. Tash
  • Special Issue
  • - Volume 2015
  • - Article ID 747693
  • - Review Article

RhoGTPases as Key Players in Mammalian Cell Adaptation to Microgravity

Fiona Louis | Christophe Deroanne | ... | Alain Guignandon
  • Special Issue
  • - Volume 2015
  • - Article ID 547495
  • - Research Article

A Whole-Genome Microarray Study of Arabidopsis thaliana Semisolid Callus Cultures Exposed to Microgravity and Nonmicrogravity Related Spaceflight Conditions for 5 Days on Board of Shenzhou 8

Svenja Fengler | Ina Spirer | ... | Rüdiger Hampp
  • Special Issue
  • - Volume 2015
  • - Article ID 538786
  • - Research Article

Regulation of ICAM-1 in Cells of the Monocyte/Macrophage System in Microgravity

Katrin Paulsen | Svantje Tauber | ... | Oliver Ullrich
BioMed Research International
 Journal metrics
Acceptance rate31%
Submission to final decision67 days
Acceptance to publication30 days
CiteScore3.600
Impact Factor2.276
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