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Rapid Measurements of Bone Loss Using Tracer-Less Calcium Isotope Analysis of Blood and Urine (Calcium_Isotope)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Bone and calcium physiology
Clinical medicine
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

The purpose of this research was to develop a method for rapid detection of changes to bone mineral balance by measuring the endogenous isotope composition of calcium in the blood and urine of bed rest subjects. An isotopic ratio analysis would provide a method to evaluate the occurrence of incipient bone loss in advance of changes to bone density as detectable by conventional x-ray methods.

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Morgan JL, Skulan JL, Gordon GW, Romaniello SJ, Smith SM, Anbar AD. Rapidly assessing changes in bone mineral balance using natural stable calcium isotopes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jun 19; 109(25):9989-94. Epub 2012 May 31. []

Channon MB, Gordon GW, Morgan JL, Skulan JL, Smith SM, and Anbar AD. Using natural, stable calcium isotopes of human blood to detect and monitor changes in bone mineral balance. Bone.2015. August; 77:69-74.

Bone density
Biological markers

Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. Data sets are not publicly available but can be requested.
Data Sets+ Request data

Bone density
Bone loss
Bone mineral balance
Bone specific alkaline phosphatase
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
HDT30 10/13/2009 05/13/2010 213 days

Human Research Program (HRP) Human Research Roadmap (HRR) Information
Crew health and performance is critical to successful human exploration beyond low Earth orbit. The Human Research Program (HRP) investigates and mitigates the highest risks to human health and performance, providing essential countermeasures and technologies for human space exploration. Risks include physiological and performance effects from hazards such as radiation, altered gravity, and hostile environments, as well as unique challenges in medical support, human factors, and behavioral health support. The HRP utilizes an Integrated Research Plan (IRP) to identify the approach and research activities planned to address these risks, which are assigned to specific Elements within the program. The Human Research Roadmap is the web-based tool for communicating the IRP content.

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Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Pamela A. Bieri
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Alternate Experiment Name
Proposal Date
Proposal Source
2007 Crew Health NNJ07ZSA002N