CRANN to carry out cancer research in zero-gravity flight

3 Dec 2010

Trinity College’s Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN) will carry out cancer research in zero-gravity conditions with the European Space Agency (ESA.)

Each year, the ESA invites a small number of scientists globally to be a part of its zero-gravity or parabolic flights. They conduct three microgravity flights per year, one for students and two for researchers.

Microgravity only occurs for 20 seconds and these flights will allow scientists 12 minutes of weightlessness over the day.

CRANN will be the first Irish-based research centre to be included on this zero-gravity flight.

This will allow Dr Despina Bazou of CRANN to conduct experiments on the behaviour of cancer cells in order to develop a new understanding of how cells in the bloodstream react to one another.

“I am very excited by this opportunity which came about when I was presenting at the International Congress on Ultrasonics 2009 in Chile,” said Bazou.

“I hope that the unique conditions presented by the parabolic flight will help me further my research into how cancer travels through the body.”

According to data by Thomson Reuters, Ireland is ranked eighth in the world for the quality of its nanoscience research.