Out of This World Researchers at HSE

Out of This World Researchers at HSE
High School East juniors and ThINK Discovery Science Research students Kevin Chen and Alexa Knee were selected as one of five finalist teams in the Genes in Space Competition. 

As NASA prepares the journey back to the moon and to Mars, it continues to develop applications within the International Space Station for exploration of the effects of space exploration on humans. Chen and Knee responded to the question by posing their own experiments to explore the effects of life in space on DNA. 

Entries from across the country were reviewed for the Genes in Space Competition, and the High School East team is now headed to Atlanta, Georgia, to present their experiment, “How will mitochondrial DNA repair mechanisms be impacted in microgravity such as found on the International Space Station?”

The pair will be assigned a professional scientist from MIT or Harvard to develop the methods to execute their experiment. The winning team will be selected live at the International Space Station Conference in July. The winning project will then be launched next year so it can be conducted aboard the ISS.

“Kevin and Alexa have developed a unique experiment for the ISS,” said High School East science research coordinator Maria Zeitlin. “An opportunity to interact with members of the ISS community is humbling, and I am thrilled that the students will have this once in a lifetime experience to be able to attend the conference next July."