Rhizopus oryzae – Ancient microbial resource with importance in modern food industry
FathiKarouia, KianooshPeyvan, AndrewPohorille
University of California San Francisco, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA.
Space biotechnology is a nascent field aimed at applying tools of modern biology to advance our goals in space exploration. These advances rely on our ability to exploit in situ high throughput techniques for amplification and sequencing DNA, and measuring levels of RNA transcripts, proteins and metabolites in a cell. These techniques, collectively known as “omics” techniques have already revolutionized terrestrial biology. A number of on-going efforts are aimed at developing instruments to carry out “omics” research in space, in particular on board the International Space Station and small satellites. For space applications these instruments require substantial and creative reengineering that includes automation, miniaturization and ensuring that the device is resistant to conditions in space and works independently of the direction of the gravity vector. Different paths taken to meet these requirements for different “omics” instruments are the subjects of this review. The advantages and disadvantages of these instruments and technological solutions and their level of readiness for deployment in space are discussed. Considering that effects of space environments on terrestrial organisms appear to be global, it is argued that high throughput instruments are essential to advance (1) biomedical and physiological studies to control and reduce space-related stressors on living systems, (2) application of biology to life support and in situ resource utilization, (3) planetary protection, and (4) basic research about the limits on life in space. It is also argued that carrying out measurements in situ provides considerable advantages over the traditional space biology paradigm that relies on post-flight data analysis.
Keywords: High-throughput, Omics, Biotechnology, Spaceflight, Genomics, Transcriptomics, Proteomics, Metabolomics. Microarray, Exploration.