Gap IM-103: Evaluate for novel endogenous viral reactivation
Last Published:  07/30/21 01:05:31 PM (Central)
Responsible Element: Human Health Countermeasures (HHC)
Status: Open
Description
Present state of knowledge: Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) are genetic sequences that have integrated with the human genome in the process of evolution. These elements, which comprise up to 5–8% of the human genome, are similar to, and may be derived from, retroviruses. While these sequences are usually dormant, they may be activated under stress and have been associated with several terrestrial chronic conditions, including autoimmune diseases, cancer and neurological diseases. NASA has documented the persistent reactivation of latent herpesviruses, and at this time there is no information regarding the reactivation, and possible clinical effects of, endogenous retroviruses relative to spaceflight conditions.
Research approach: Evaluation of reactivation of novel endogenous viral sequences embedded in the human genome, under conditions of weightlessness, radiation and combinations of both (study currently underway). 
Target for Closure
Understand another aspect of immune dysfunction that could have health ramifications for in-mission as well as for long-term health.
Mappings
Risk Risk of Adverse Health Event Due to Altered Immune Response
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