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If you’re doing proteomics in a zero-gravity phone booth, you don’t want a lot of nasty chemical reagents sloshing around. So NASA awarded Ciencia a grant to develop a compact, high-throughput proteomics analyzer that doesn’t use radioactive or fluorescent tags. Ciencia will incorporate Quantech’s Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) technology into an instrument suitable for the International Space Station.

In SPR, light hitting a surface at a particular wavelength and angle couples with surface electrons, cutting reflected light by about 90 percent. But if something binds to the surface, it changes this resonance point. Researchers fix different antibodies to a surface, expose them to a stream of antigens, and use an optical detector to determine where binding occurred. NASA hopes such zero-gravity experiments will give a better understanding of how life began and yield new techniques for cell and tissue manipulation.

— Sherri Chasin Calvo

The Scan

Support for Moderna Booster

An FDA advisory committee supports authorizing a booster for Moderna's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, CNN reports.

Testing at UK Lab Suspended

SARS-CoV-2 testing at a UK lab has been suspended following a number of false negative results.

J&J CSO to Step Down

The Wall Street Journal reports that Paul Stoffels will be stepping down as chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson by the end of the year.

Science Papers Present Proteo-Genomic Map of Human Health, Brain Tumor Target, Tool to Infer CNVs

In Science this week: gene-protein-disease map, epigenomic and transcriptomic approach highlights potential therapeutic target for gliomas, and more