Cleoma Arnold

Publication Date

Fall 2023

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Science in Bioinformatics (MSBI)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Philip Heller

Second Advisor

Wendy Lee

Third Advisor

James Casaletto


Spaceflight, Differential Gene Expression, RNA-Seq, Mouse, Mammary


Life aboard spacecraft poses a danger to astronaut health, with hazards including microgravity, radiation, and enclosed spaces. Research into mitigating these health issues includes analysis of the transcriptome of rodents sent to the International Space Station. This project investigates the effects of spaceflight on the mammary tissue of female mice of two age groups, 10-12 and 32 weeks, in order to assess the impact of age and spaceflight on gene expression in a tissue relevant to female health. Analysis of the OSD-511 dataset from NASA’s Open Science Data Repository utilized a containerized implementation of their RNA-Seq pipeline on the San Jose State University High Performance Computing Cluster. Seven genes were found to be differentially expressed across all comparison groups; one gene, Greb1, has implications for hormone mediated disease. Age appears to influence biological pathways affected by spaceflight in mammary tissue, with young mice experiencing metabolic changes while older mice undergo changes to inflammatory pathways. Further research is needed to determine the mechanism of spaceflight-induced gene expression changes.

Available for download on Sunday, December 15, 2024