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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan, Esmeralda Swartz, Hovhannes Avoyan, Elizabeth White

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Second Series of CASIS-Sponsored Research Payloads Launch to the International Space Station

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., April 18, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) is proud to announce several sponsored research payloads have launched to the International Space Station (ISS) onboard the Space Exploration Technology Corporation's (SpaceX) Dragon cargo capsule. This marks the second series of investigations headed to the station that are sponsored by CASIS, the nonprofit responsible for managing research onboard the ISS U.S. National Laboratory.

Research on this flight includes multiple protein crystallization projects supported by grant funding from the first CASIS request for proposals, awarded in late 2012 and early 2013. In all, five of the funded protein crystallization researchers saw their investigations launch on this flight to the ISS National Lab. These investigators are evaluating various proteins involved in human health: the protein responsible for Huntington's disease; proteins involved in other neurodegenerative conditions, Cystic Fibrosis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other aliments; and membrane proteins involved in drug effectiveness.

The launch also contained a protein crystal growth experiment from the pharmaceutical company Merck Research Labs, who will study two monoclonal antibodies that are being investigated for multiple human diseases to improve human health. Additionally onboard, an investigation from the National Institute of Health will attempt to discover the molecular basis of cell suppression in spaceflight. In the field of plant biology, is a project from the University of Florida evaluating the growth and development of plant seedlings in the absence of gravity. A variety of ISS National Lab commercial and academic payloads brokered by NanoRacks are also part of the overall CASIS manifest on this mission.

"With Friday's launch by our partners at SpaceX, CASIS completed yet another milestone as we've sent our first projects funded through an official grant solicitation," said CASIS president and executive director, Gregory H. Johnson. "Over our first two series of payloads destined for the National Lab, CASIS has already demonstrated the diversity within brokered projects, ranging from physical and biomedical sciences to plant biology and education projects. In the coming months and years, we look forward to expanding on the innovative scientific investigations that will benefit life on Earth."

To learn more about the research destined for the ISS during CASIS's first official launch increment period, Advancing Research Knowledge 1 (ARK1), please enjoy our video highlighting the historic timeframe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mJI1G2RQAU&list=UUezcn0GHbLgOkZ85oV5xqZA&feature=share 
or visit: http://ark1.iss-casis.org

About CASIS: The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) was selected by NASA in July 2011 to maximize use of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory through 2020. CASIS is dedicated to supporting and accelerating innovations and new discoveries that will enhance the health and wellbeing of people and our planet. For more information, visit www.iss-casis.org.

About the ISS National Laboratory: In 2005, Congress designated the U.S. portion of the International Space Station as the nation's newest national laboratory to maximize its use for improving life on Earth, promoting collaboration among diverse users, and advancing STEM education. This unique laboratory environment is available for use by other U.S. government agencies and by academic and private institutions, providing access to the permanent microgravity setting, vantage point in low Earth orbit, and varied environments of space.

Media Contact:
Patrick O'Neill
(321) 480-1054
[email protected]

SOURCE Center for the Advancement of Science in Space

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