Due to the effects of space radiation and altered gravity, the human body undergoes many physiological changes during spaceflight, including muscle atrophy which can result in the loss of muscle mass, performance and endurance
Although natural, this adaption poses some problems. One such problem is the risk of impaired performance in mission critical tasks, which NASA has identified as a key risk to the future of human spaceflight 
In addition to posing an issue in spaceflight, muscle atrophy is also a prevalent problem for patients on Earth who may experience it due to different causes such as inactivity, ageing (Sarcopenia), and muscular dystrophy. Advancements in the understanding of mechanisms underlying this atrophic response may aid the development of new countermeasures for both patients on Earth and astronauts in space.
As part of this research, computer vision software will be developed and tested on videos of C. elegans in a microfluidics device 
If all goes to plan, videos of spaceflown worms in the microfluidics device will be captured during a two-week mission onboard the ISS. The software will then be used to analyse the videos and measure the changes in the muscle strength of individual worms throughout the experiment. This extracted strength data can then be correlated with the changes in gene expression, and by looking at worms with genetic interventions, it might be possible to establish causal relationships between omics (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics) data and phenotypic data indicative of atrophy.
Objective 2: Analysing Human Data from an Immobilisation Study
Bioinformatics methods will used to analyse data from a human immobilisation study at Royal Derby Hospital. More specifically, gene expression changes in the human subjects will be correlated with muscle changes. Potentially, data from other similar studies can also be brought into the analysis, to increase the sample size.
After the two prior objectives have been completed, the changes in C. elegans and humans will be compared, to see whether or not there is a link between human personal data predictive of muscular performance and C. elegans personal data predictive of muscle performance. If the effect of spaceflight on the animal model and the personal predictors of decline are similar to those in humans from the immobilisation study, interventions can be made during future spaceflown animal studies to see if muscle deterioration can be decelerated. The computer vision software developed during this project can then be reused for measuring strength data in order to assess the effectiveness of the interventions in animal models.