Several items in the list of research emphasis (balance, proprioception,
motor control) prompted the posting of this announcement to the biomch-l
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NIH GUIDE, Volume 21, Number 19, May 22, 1992

Sources Sought: NIH-NINDS-92-001

P.T. 34; K.W. 1002030, 0710085, 0705070, 0414015, 0780015

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) seek
information from individuals and organizations with the capability and
interest in conducting basic and applied neuroscience research aboard
the proposed Decade of the Brain Neurolab Space Mission, which is
tentatively scheduled for early 1998. The Spacelab will provide access
to the unique research environment of space flight for basic and
applied studies. Where appropriate, ground-based studies will be
supported to develop a protocol, collect data from related space
experiments, test procedures, conduct simulations, and analyze flight
data. Interested parties must submit five copies of a
two-to-three-page summary of the proposed research, curricula vitae,
and a concise and complete description of the organization's

Some scientific areas tentatively identified for emphasis include:

o Developmental biology, including the role gravity plays in the
development of motor control;

o Cellular and molecular neurobiology, particularly as weightlessness
would provide a tool to investigate the role gravity plays in
intracellular and extracellular function and in cell-cell interaction;

o Neural processing of sensory inputs at the cortical and subcortical
levels and other functions of the nervous system that are particularly
relevant to adaptation to gravity (balance, proprioception, motor

o Behavior and performance including investigations using virtual
reality and studies of crew interaction and human-machine interaction;

o Technology improvement and innovation: Investigators will be
encouraged to incorporate the latest proven technology in the studies.
New hardware will be designed so that it can later be deployed on Space
Station Freedom for further research in the life sciences.

Neurolab will be configured as an integrated laboratory for
neuroscience research, and it is anticipated that the following
facilities will be available: cell culture facilities; animal housing
for rats; glove box and work station for in-flight manipulation of the
animals; biological sample processing and storage facilities;
stimulating equipment for vestibular research; imaging equipment;
electrophysiological equipment; facilities and equipment to sample
blood and collect urine; laboratory computers and computer work
stations; video; and virtual reality. Spacelab is a pressurized module
that is contained in and attached to the cargo bay of the Space
Shuttle. It has 22 cubic meters available for experiment hardware and
equipment, is pressurized to 14.7 psi, and provides a "shirt sleeve"
laboratory environment. The module contains utilities, work areas, and
instrument racks for experiments.

Four crew members will be assigned to the science payload. By
monitoring data and having air-to-ground dialogue and live TV from
orbit, the investigators on the ground virtually work side-by-side with
their colleagues in space.

The research can include experimental data collection before and after
flight as well as during the flight. Experimental subjects will include
the four science crew members; rats, ranging in age from neonatal to
fully developed (aged); and invertebrates.

Since Neurolab is proposed to fly in 1998 and the project requires a
long preparation, planning must start soon to meet that date.

This is not a Request for Proposals. It is a request for interest in
participation. The government does not intend to make award on the
basis of responses to this announcement nor to make payment for
preparation of any information that may be submitted.

Responses must be submitted not later than July 3, 1992, to:

William Heetderks, M.D., Ph.D.
Division of Fundamental Neurosciences
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Federal Building, Room 916
Bethesda, MD 20892

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