NASA GeneLab: interfaces for the exploration of space omics data

Nucleic Acids Res. 2021 Jan 8;49(D1):D1515-D1522. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkaa887.


The mission of NASA's GeneLab database ( is to collect, curate, and provide access to the genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic (so-called 'omics') data from biospecimens flown in space or exposed to simulated space stressors, maximizing their utilization. This large collection of data enables the exploration of molecular network responses to space environments using a systems biology approach. We review here the various components of the GeneLab platform, including the new data repository web interface, and the GeneLab Online Data Entry (GEODE) web portal, which will support the expansion of the database in the future to include companion non-omics assay data. We discuss our design for GEODE, particularly how it promotes investigators providing more accurate metadata, reducing the curation effort required of GeneLab staff. We also introduce here a new GeneLab Application Programming Interface (API) specifically designed to support tools for the visualization of processed omics data. We review the outreach efforts by GeneLab to utilize the spaceflight data in the repository to generate novel discoveries and develop new hypotheses, including spearheading data analysis working groups, and a high school student training program. All these efforts are aimed ultimately at supporting precision risk management for human space exploration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astronauts
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Databases, Genetic*
  • Fishes / genetics
  • Fishes / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genome*
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination
  • Insecta / genetics
  • Insecta / metabolism
  • Internet
  • Mice
  • Nematoda / genetics
  • Nematoda / metabolism
  • Plants / genetics
  • Plants / metabolism
  • Software*
  • Space Flight
  • Weightlessness Simulation
  • Weightlessness*