Dr. Jack Higginbotham (Oregon Space Grant consortium) and Dr. Jan Spitsbergen (Microbiology) are collaborating on a NASA funded project to develop a zebrafish model for radiation-induced cataracts.  Pilots, astronauts, and those exposed to high levels of ultraviolet light or ionizing radiation are at high arisk of developing cataracts at a young age.  Zebrafish can be ?????????????????? galactic cosmic rays when on extended space missions.  

In this study, zebrafish have been exposed to gamma irradiation at Brookhaven National Lab on Long Island, New York, as well as simulated high energy galactic cosmic ray exposure.  In collaboration with Dr. Kirsten Lampa (OHSU) and Dr. Sarah Maxwell (Opthalmic Veterinarian) proteomic studies (proteins) of the lens of the eyes should provide data on threshold limits of galactic cosmic rays on zebrafish and hence to astronauts.  

Higginbotham, J., Spitsbergen, J., Maxwell, S., Jardine, J., Guida, P., Hudecek, C., Parker, H., Folk, L., Milston-Clements, R. and Muller, G.  2019.  Investigation of link between zebrafish cataract formation from exposure to galactic cosmic radiation and 137 Cs gamma rays.