Acute Effect – Programmed Research
|Research Subject||A03-2 Acute Effects of Space Radiation with Different Radiation Qualities and Dose-rates|
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Humans have stayed on the International Space Station (ISS) for a prolonged period. The opportunity for extravehicular activity in Space has been increasing. Although Earth is shielded by its magnetic field and atmosphere, the space environment is being constantly exposed to various types of radiation with low dose at a low dose-rate. This includes heavy ions, which have a large relative biological effectiveness (even a single heavy ion may induce serious and complex DNA damage along the trajectory). Moreover, the space environment is being exposed to short-wavelength ultraviolet (UV) radiation (corresponding to the absorption maxima of DNA molecules and frequently damage) with high dose at a high dose-rate from the Sun.
The space environment has attracted much attention as (1) a laboratory for the space radiation environment that is encountered during extravehicular activities. Since it provides an environment where sunlight is not blocked by the ozone layer, it has also attracted attention as (2) a laboratory for modeling the primordial Earth light environment before the ozone layer formed, (3) a laboratory for verifying chemical evolution reactions in a space environment, and (4) a laboratory for modeling the future Earth light environment after the destruction of the ozone layer, and there has been great anticipation of advanced analysis in research into the biological effects of solar radiation.
In this research, we will explore two questions. (1) How does the difference in radiation quality (energy) and dose-rate of various radiations, including UV radiation, affect organisms immediately (acute effects) and genetically affect the next generation? (2) How does a microgravity environment impact the acute effects of radiation, including UV radiation? To answer the questions, we will examine various species of organisms (microorganisms, small plants, cultured human cells, etc.) at molecular, cellular, and individual levels.
Then by exchanging information with other researchers in the Scientific Research on Innovative Areas “Living in Space”, where the plasticity of organisms and its failure in various extreme environments of Space are studied, we will explore the potential of life that has yet to be revealed by studies on Earth.