Predicting malaria infection in Gambian children from satellite data and bed net use surveys: the importance of spatial correlation in the interpretation of results.
In line with the renewed World Health Organization Global Malaria Control Strategy, we have advocated the use of satellite imagery by control services to provide environmental information for malaria stratification, monitoring, and early warning. To achieve this operationally, appropriate methodologies must be developed for integrating environmental and epidemiologic data into models that can be used by decision-makers for improved resource allocation. Using methodologies developed for the Famine Early Warning Systems and spatial statistics, we show a significant association between age related malaria infection in Gambian children and the amount of seasonal environmental greenness as measured using the normalized difference vegetation index derived from satellite data. The resulting model is used to predict changes in malaria prevalence rates in children resulting from different bed net control scenarios. (+info)
Microgravity as a novel environmental signal affecting Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium virulence.
The effects of spaceflight on the infectious disease process have only been studied at the level of the host immune response and indicate a blunting of the immune mechanism in humans and animals. Accordingly, it is necessary to assess potential changes in microbial virulence associated with spaceflight which may impact the probability of in-flight infectious disease. In this study, we investigated the effect of altered gravitational vectors on Salmonella virulence in mice. Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium grown under modeled microgravity (MMG) were more virulent and were recovered in higher numbers from the murine spleen and liver following oral infection compared to organisms grown under normal gravity. Furthermore, MMG-grown salmonellae were more resistant to acid stress and macrophage killing and exhibited significant differences in protein synthesis than did normal-gravity-grown cells. Our results indicate that the environment created by simulated microgravity represents a novel environmental regulatory factor of Salmonella virulence. (+info)
Mass spectrometry in the U.S. space program: past, present, and future.
Recent years have witnessed significant progress on the miniaturization of mass spectrometers for a variety of field applications. This article describes the development and application of mass spectrometry (MS) instrumentation to support of goals of the U.S. space program. Its main focus is on the two most common space-related applications of MS: studying the composition of planetary atmospheres and monitoring air quality on manned space missions. Both sets of applications present special requirements in terms of analytical performance (sensitivity, selectivity, speed, etc.), logistical considerations (space, weight, and power requirements), and deployment in perhaps the harshest of all possible environments (space). The MS instruments deployed on the Pioneer Venus and Mars Viking Lander missions are reviewed for the purposes of illustrating the unique features of the sample introduction systems, mass analyzers, and vacuum systems, and for presenting their specifications which are impressive even by today's standards. The various approaches for monitoring volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in cabin atmospheres are also reviewed. In the past, ground-based GC/MS instruments have been used to identify and quantify VOCs in archival samples collected during the Mercury, Apollo, Skylab, Space Shuttle, and Mir missions. Some of the data from the more recent missions are provided to illustrate the composition data obtained and to underscore the need for instrumentation to perform such monitoring in situ. Lastly, the development of two emerging technologies, Direct Sampling Ion Trap Mass Spectrometry (DSITMS) and GC/Ion Mobility Spectrometry (GC/IMS), will be discussed to illustrate their potential utility for future missions. (+info)
The catecholamine response to spaceflight: role of diet and gender.
Compared with men, women appear to have a decreased sympathetic nervous system (SNS) response to stress. The two manifestations where the sexual dimorphism has been the most pronounced involve the response of the SNS to fluid shifts and fuel metabolism during exercise. The objectives of this study were to investigate whether a similar sexual dimorphism was found in the response to spaceflight. To do so, we compared catecholamine excretion by male and female astronauts from two similar shuttle missions, Spacelab Life Sciences 1 (SLS1, 1991) and 2 (SLS2, 1993) for evidence of sexual dimorphism. To evaluate the variability of the catecholamine response in men, we compared catecholamine excretion from the two SLS missions against the 1996 Life and Microgravity Sciences Mission (LMS) and the 1973 Skylab missions. RESULTS: No gender- or mission-dependent changes were found with epinephrine. Separating out the SLS1/2 data by gender shows that norepinephrine excretion was essentially unchanged with spaceflight in women (98 +/- 10%; n = 3) and substantially decreased with the men (41 +/- 9%; n = 4, P < 0.05). Data are a percentage of mean preflight value +/- SE. Comparisons among males demonstrated significant mission effects on norepinephrine excretion. After flight, there was a transient increase in norepinephrine but no evidence of any gender-specific effects. We conclude that norepinephrine excretion during spaceflight is both mission and gender dependent. Men show the greater response, with at least three factors being involved, a response to microgravity, energy balance, and the ratio of carbohydrate to fat in the diet. (+info)
Risk management. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Interim rule adopted as final with changes.
This is a final rule amending the NASA FAR Supplement (NFS) to emphasize considerations of risk management, including safety, security (including information technology security), health, export control, and damage to the environment, within the acquisition process. This final rule addresses risk management within the context of acquisition planning, selecting sources, choosing contract type, structuring award fee incentives, administering contracts, and conducting contractor surveillance. (+info)
Code of conduct for the International Space Station Crew. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Interim final rule.
NASA is issuing new regulations entitled "International Space Station Crew," to implement certain provisions of the International Space Station (ISS) Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) regarding ISS crewmembers' observance of an ISS Code of Conduct. (+info)
Sensorimotor adaptations to microgravity in humans.
Motor function is altered by microgravity, but little detail is available as to what these changes are and how changes in the individual components of the sensorimotor system affect the control of movement. Further, there is little information on whether the changes in motor performance reflect immediate or chronic adaptations to changing gravitational environments. To determine the effects of microgravity on the neural control properties of selected motor pools, four male astronauts from the NASA STS-78 mission performed motor tasks requiring the maintenance of either ankle dorsiflexor or plantarflexor torque. Torques of 10 or 50% of a maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) were requested of the subjects during 10 degrees peak-to-peak sinusoidal movements at 0.5 Hz. When 10% MVC of the plantarflexors was requested, the actual torques generated in-flight were similar to pre-flight values. Post-flight torques were higher than pre- and in-flight torques. The actual torques when 50% MVC was requested were higher in- and post-flight than pre-flight. Soleus (Sol) electromyographic (EMG) amplitudes during plantarflexion were higher in-flight than pre- or post-flight for both the 10 and 50% MVC tasks. No differences in medial gastrocnemius (MG) EMG amplitudes were observed for either the 10 or 50% MVC tasks. The EMG amplitudes of the tibialis anterior (TA), an antagonist to plantarflexion, were higher in- and post-flight than pre-flight for the 50% MVC task. During the dorsiflexion tasks, the torques generated in both the 10 and 50% MVC tasks did not differ pre-, in- and post-flight. TA EMG amplitudes were significantly higher in- than pre-flight for both the 10 or 50% MVC tasks, and remained elevated post-flight for the 50% MVC test. Both the Sol and MG EMG amplitudes were significantly higher in-flight than either pre- or post-flight for both the 10 and 50% MVC tests. These data suggest that the most consistent response to space flight was an elevation in the level of contractions of agonists and antagonists when attempting to maintain constant torques at a given level of MVC. Also, the chronic levels of EMG activity in selected ankle flexor and extensor muscles during space flight and during routine activities on Earth were recorded. Compared with pre- and post-flight values, there was a marked increase in the total EMG activity of the TA and the Sol and no change in the MG EMG activity in-flight. These data indicate that space flight, as occurs on shuttle missions, is a model of elevated activation of both flexor and extensor muscles, probably reflecting the effects of programmed work schedules in flight rather than a direct effect of microgravity. (+info)
Invited review: gender issues related to spaceflight: a NASA perspective.
This minireview provides an overview of known and potential gender differences in physiological responses to spaceflight. The paper covers cardiovascular and exercise physiology, barophysiology and decompression sickness, renal stone risk, immunology, neurovestibular and sensorimotor function, nutrition, pharmacotherapeutics, and reproduction. Potential health and functional impacts associated with the various physiological changes during spaceflight are discussed, and areas needing additional research are highlighted. Historically, studies of physiological responses to microgravity have not been aimed at examining gender-specific differences in the astronaut population. Insufficient data exist in most of the discipline areas at this time to draw valid conclusions about gender-specific differences in astronauts, in part due to the small ratio of women to men. The only astronaut health issue for which a large enough data set exists to allow valid conclusions to be drawn about gender differences is orthostatic intolerance following shuttle missions, in which women have a significantly higher incidence of presyncope during stand tests than do men. The most common observation across disciplines is that individual differences in physiological responses within genders are usually as large as, or larger than, differences between genders. Individual characteristics usually outweigh gender differences per se. (+info)