NASA groups with a grade school task to check EpiPens in area: NPR

Trainees in a Canadian primary school teamed with NASA to see if a life-saving drug would operate in area: EpiPens.


We typically inform our kids to strive the stars. Trainees at a Canadian primary school did simply that. They partnered with NASA to see if a lifesaving drug would operate in area. Their experiment was sent out up in a rocket, and they made a huge discovery. EpiPens utilized to provide first aid for extreme allergies might not operate in area. So how did they figure it out? Initially, like all excellent researchers, they began with a concern.

RAINA SMITH: We truly would like to know, for all individuals who count on EpiPens or epinephrine, if they ever went to area or astronauts in area, would we have the ability to count on these things?

MARTIN: That’s Raina Smith, among the trainees who dealt with the task. As soon as she and her schoolmates determined the concern, they required to discover a method to check whether area travel would impact epinephrine or not. Kara Murray states the next action was to make an informed guess.

KARA MURRAY: So my hypothesis was that if the epinephrine went to area, the radiation would alter the molecular structure due to the fact that in the world, the UV radiation from the sun alters it. So the ionizing radiation in area ought to alter the molecular structure of the epinephrine in the EpiPen service.

MARTIN: The trainees partnered with Teacher Paul Meyer, a chemist at the University of Ottawa. Utilizing specific tools, they compared the molecular structure of the pure epinephrine and the EpiPen service prior to spaceflight and after spaceflight.

KARA: The pure epinephrine became 13% benzoic acid, which is harmful. So that would make the epinephrine harmful. And the EpiPen service resulted – there were no epinephrine particles staying.

MARTIN: For Raina, the outcomes were quite interesting.

RAINA: I was truly pleased due to the fact that it’s amazing to understand that at such a young age, we might possibly be making an effect on the world. And at such a young age, we learnt huge science.

MARTIN: And the trainees aren’t done yet.

RAINA: So this year, the next actions are very first to confirm our outcomes and see if we get the exact same outcomes as in 2015 and after that to likewise create some sort of protective system to ideally secure the pure epinephrine and EpiPen service in area.

MARTIN: We likewise would like to know if they had any suggestions they wished to hand down, based upon their success. Kara states …

KARA: Do not hesitate to attempt to address your concern, even if it might appear ridiculous or if you believe that it may appear apparent. And you may learn something truly huge.

MARTIN: And for Raina …

RAINA: There’s no ideal age to attempt and do something brand-new with science. Anybody at any age can find something brand-new, as long as you have the enthusiasm and you put your 100% in.

MARTIN: How huge are their strategies? Some may state out of this world.

RAINA: I truly do hope that we can create something to secure the EpiPen service and pure epinephrine in area so that in the future, anybody that has anaphylactic allergic reactions or depends on EpiPens or pure epinephrine, if they wish to, they can go to area or perhaps colonize Mars in the future.


MARTIN: That was Kara Murray and Raina Smith. They are trainees at St. Sibling Andre Primary school’s program for talented students in Ottawa, Canada.

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