‘Genes in Space’ winner hails support of wise leadership

ABU DHABI — Alia Al Mansouri, winner of the “Genes in Space” competition, hailed the support given by the wise leadership of the UAE to space studies and sciences.

Al Mansoori returned to the UAE yesterday, where she was received by a delegation led by Dr. Mohamed Al Junaibi, Executive Director of Space Sector at the UAE Space Agency, at the Abu Dhabi International Airport.

She launched her successful experiment from the International Space Station at Cape Canaveral in Florida, United States.

In her statement to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), Al Mansouri expressed her appreciation and gratitude to the wise leadership and to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for their continuous support, until she could realise her dream.

The 15-year-old praised the efforts made by the UAE Space Agency for the Genes in Space competition, and for supporting her until her arrival at the International Space Agency and the successful launch of her experiment, noting that this support contributed greatly towards strengthening her interest in space, its different sectors and in scientific elements, which helped her realise her dream of entering the national space sector.

The competition was organised by Boeing for the first time in the UAE, in co-operation with local partners, such as the UAE Space Agency and The National. Al Mansoori’s experiment, which she developed with her guide at Harvard University, is considered the third of its kind in international competitions, and the first of its kind in the UAE.

The experiment will study changes in the proteomic expression of the DNA produced in space. The results will provide evidence on how to prevent the death of unwanted cells to protect the health of future astronauts during long-term missions to Mars.

Al Mansouri worked with scientists from miniPCR to prepare her experiment, by using a miniPCR device to produce DNA replicas that would enable astronauts to create multiple sequences of DNA and monitor changes that may occur.

Source: Emirates News Agency