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Space-travels' acquired immunodeficiency - multidimensional examination of T-cells under space conditions for improving the immune system

Chief researcher: Prof. Yaacov Lawrence, Sheba Medical Center
Partners: Thomas Jefferson University, United States and Israeli start-up OncoHost

One of the consequences of microgravity on the human body is a disruption of the immune system’s function. The disruption can cause hyperactivity of the immune system in the form of various allergy symptoms; it can also depress the immune system, resulting in relapses of dormant viral infections - and for example, outbreaks of herpes simplex in space.

Wanting to better understand the nature of this disruption in space, the scientists are leveraging the technological breakthroughs in individually-tailored medical care. OncoHost, an Israeli start-up, is developing a platform to help in selecting the most suitable treatment for oncology patients in accordance with their individual characteristics and, through using advanced technologies and machine learning algorithms, to provide a multidimensional analysis of each individual patient’s immune system. The OncoHost platform’s advanced processing tools will enable analysis of the specific impacts of the stay in space on each astronaut’s immune system.

These insights will enable development of suitable countermeasures to prevent and respond to life-threatening conditions throughout voyages of deep space exploration. In addition, through proving the highly-valuable potential of characterizing individual people’s immune systems to deliver tailored treatment is expected to touch off a new phase in the delivery of individually-tailored clinical solutions benefitting mankind - in space as well as here on Earth.

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