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Treasure Trove of Scientific Research That is Out of This World - NASA PubSpace


NASA PubSpaceLet’s face it, we’ve all wanted to know at some point or another what NASA has been researching into. Thankfully that day has come, because NASA has released all of their publicly funded research onto the internet via a platform called PubSpace. One would expect to see a plethora of space related topics. And whilst you would be right in thinking that, there is also an abundance of research into the Life and Medical Sciences. In this article, you will be informed of how to navigate the new platform and some examples of what life science research can be found on PubSpace.


NASA’s PubSpace contains all of their non-embargoed research in the form of peer reviewed papers. Research affiliated with national security, however, remains private. NASA’s PubSpace contains all of the peer reviewed papers that have published as a result of NASA funded research. The papers are free to the public and over 850 to date are included in the database. Their aim is to keep expanding this number in the coming years. However, for any new papers to be added to the database, they need to be uploaded to PubSpace within a year of the publishing date. It is worth noting, that this research has been available to scientists in the past, but only via a paywall.

PubSpace is not fully operational yet and will only become so in the fall. Currently PubSpace is being hosted by the PubMed Central (PMC), a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It is unclear as to whether it will have its own separate identity come fall. But for now, all of the research is contained here so we’ll discuss this database.

To access NASA’s research on this database, the PMC filter section is required (and it also helps to have “nasa funded” in the search criterion). However, not all of the Research on the PMC is affiliated to PubSpace. The easiest way to make sure that you reach the ‘PubSpace only’ articles is by following this link- From here, follow the links and it’ll bring you to an intermediate page where you can search PubSpace. This search bar will take you the PMC database. But by searching this way, the PubSpace articles will appear in your search results, as you will have come directly from the PubSpace link on NASA’s website.

There are various search functions that can be implemented to tailor your search, such as research funder, publication date, text availability, article attributes and an embargo filter. You can also change the display settings and send papers to your email, or download them to your computer. It is worth noting that using plurals brings up no additional search results.

Life Science Research

Life science research is surprisingly well-researched within NASA. There are many pages of results for the life-scientist enthusiast to divulge in. In short NASA’s PubSpace contains research into many areas including stem cells, cell cultures, hypoxic conditions, biomarkers.

To give an overview as to what is available, we have picked out some papers regarding the types of research that you would expect to find. One such paper pertains research into creating 3-D cultures of human neural progenitor cells, to culture the Varicella-zoster virus (VZV). This research has managed to expand the cell culturing time to 6 months, a significant increase from previous attempts [1]. Another paper looks at a biomarking tool for radiation exposure by using peripheral blood cell counts. The research details a rapid response of care system for people exposed to high doses of radiation [2]. One paper looks at the deposition of TiO2 nanoparticles into waste streams. The paper looks at the effects that deposition and uptake of TiO2 can have on the microbes (protozoans), organisms and food webs in the local streams [3].

Don’t forget to check back in the fall, as we’ll be documenting the fully operational PubSpace, including any changes to interface, usability and navigation.


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