NASA and Square Roots Launch Innovative Research Project to Better Understand the Impact of Induced Stress

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 Research News
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NASA will research changes to the metabolomes of astronauts brought on by the stressors of space flight and apply learnings to maternal health

HOUSTON, June 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Lyndon B. Johnson Space

Center and Square Roots, a mission-driven company focused on pregnancy health and wellness, announced today a new research endeavor to better understand human metabolic response to prolonged induced stress, such as occurs during space flight or, by extension, pregnancy.

Using biological samples of NASA astronauts taken before and during space flight for comparison, NASA's Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory will analyze changes in the astronaut's metabolite profiles to evaluate the effects of the stressors of space flight on the human metabolome and how the metabolome adapts to these stressors. Metabolomics involves the analysis of hundreds of small-molecule metabolites found in a person's blood or urine.

"Motherhood is extraordinary in many ways. This includes high levels of prolonged stress," says Morad Fareed, Founder and CEO of Square Roots. "NASA is informing us how astronauts cope and rebound from the extreme physical and emotional stress of space flight and how these metabolic responses are applicable to an expectant mother's metabolic responses during pregnancy. Amazing. We can improve the pregnancy experience through science and creativity, and are honored to be working with NASA."

NASA's Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory, which will manage all aspects of the research project, intends to share the results this research in scientific journals and at scientific conferences and to develop educational materials and outreach efforts designed to further our understanding of the effects of stress on the human metabolome. Square Roots will distribute the findings through its network of government, academia, medicine, business and other partners that are committed to positively influencing maternity health and infant development.

Following the culmination of the analysis, NASA's Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory will develop educational material to support additional research and outreach efforts. Square Roots believes the findings will be directly relatable to in-utero metabolic responses, and ultimately support the company's ongoing research efforts to advance maternal health and wellness. Through an established network of cross-sector leaders, Square Roots will distribute findings to stakeholders from government, academia, medicine, business and other sectors that influence maternal health.

NASA's Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory personnel will support all aspects of the research, including documentation and review, data management and analysis, and presentation and publication in scientific venues.

About NASA's Nutritional Biochemistry LaboratoryNASA's Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory works to keep astronauts healthy from a nutrition perspective. While food is important – the nutrients contained in those foods support the underlying biological systems – bone, muscle, cardiovascular, vision and more. Optimizing nutrition will help keep astronauts healthy on ISS missions, will enable missions beyond low-Earth orbit, and will have broad implications for terrestrial medicine and the general population.

About Square RootsSquare Roots ( is a mission-driven company focused on pregnancy health and wellness. By integrating new technology and scientific findings with intelligent partnerships from medicine to policy to maternal care takers, Square Roots brings needed solutions and resources to the most critical period of life: our beginning. We identify the highest impact programs and tools that have a proven health impact for mothers and coordinate the distribution of these programs and tools between academia, policy, public agencies, and private companies.

Contact:Kayla Keller, 281-682-6212Sara Gurkin,

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SOURCE Square Roots

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