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Many biological systems respond to the presence or absence of gravity. Since experiments performed in space are expensive and can only be undertaken infrequently, Earth-based simulation techniques are used to investigate the biological response to weightlessness. A high gradient magnetic field can be used to levitate a biological organism so that its net(More)
Biological systems respond to changes in both the Earth's magnetic and gravitational fields, but as experiments in space are expensive and infrequent, Earth-based simulation techniques are required. A high gradient magnetic field can be used to levitate biological material, thereby simulating microgravity and can also create environments with a reduced or(More)
Cell growth and cell proliferation are intimately linked in the presence of Earth’s gravity, but are decoupled under the microgravity conditions present in orbiting spacecraft. New technologies to simulate microgravity conditions for long-duration experiments, with stable environmental conditions, in Earth-based laboratories are required to further our(More)
Tropisms are growth-mediated plant movements that help plants to respond to changes in environmental stimuli. The availability of water and light, as well as the presence of a constant gravity vector, are all environmental stimuli that plants sense and respond to via directed growth movements (tropisms). The plant response to gravity (gravitropism) and the(More)
Understanding the effects of gravity on biological organisms is vital to the success of future space missions. Previous studies in Earth orbit have shown that the common fruitfly (Drosophila melanogaster) walks more quickly and more frequently in microgravity, compared with its motion on Earth. However, flight preparation procedures and forces endured on(More)
Previous experiments have shown that the reduced gravity aboard the International Space Station (ISS) causes important alterations in Drosophila gene expression. These changes were shown to be intimately linked to environmental space-flight related constraints. Here, we use an array of different techniques for ground-based simulation of microgravity effects(More)
Our group has the long-term goal of establishing a permanent colony of Drosophila melanogaster in the International Space Station (ISS) to study its long-term adaptation to this unusual environment. We are currently building an enhanced version of an automatic cultivation unit (ESE1) in which we can grow flies with minimal crew involvement. We are working(More)
Blue-light positive phototropism in roots is masked by gravity and revealed in conditions of microgravity. In addition, the magnitude of red-light positive phototropic curvature is correlated to the magnitude of gravity. Due to their sessile nature, plants utilize environmental cues to grow and respond to their surroundings. Two of these cues, light and(More)
Changes in the cell growth rate of an in vitro cellular system in Arabidopsis thaliana induced by short exposure to an altered gravity environment have been estimated by a novel approach. The method consisted of defining three structural nucleolar types which are easy and reliable indicators of the ribosome biogenesis activity and, consequently, of protein(More)