We are crowdfunding for Malta’s next missions to space and to advance further life sciences research into both complex and rare disease research. The money will allow us to once again explore microgravity and space as a tool to study, in a unique manner, certain diseases that affect the Maltese population ranging from blood disorders to Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and many more.
The first historic mission that is about to take place this month of August 2021 has been successfully funded through a unique joint collaboration between Academia, Private Sector and Government Sector to bring together the necessary infrastructure, money and logistics.
We now INVITE YOU, to be part of the journey that we are about to embark. Be part of the 1st Space Omix Group (SOG) and lend your voice and ideas to the next scientific missions that will take place after the first mission. Search and explore our Zaar rewards being made available to you. Do you have a specific request? Do you have an idea? Want your message to be part of the first mission?
Malta’s first ever mission to space! In the Ice Cubes #9 – SpaceOMIX investigation, human skin microbiome samples (from selected Type 2 Diabetic patients with diabetic foot ulcers resistant to treatment) are studied as part of the first-ever Maltese space experiment on the International Space Station (ISS). The microbiome is co-cultured on both ground-based (analog) and space-based conditions to determine their adaptation and changes to the environment. All samples are analysed in a multi-omic manner using state-of-the-art molecular biology techniques, and all data is to be deposited as part of the NASA GeneLab database. This project holds a lot of promise for patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus inflicted with Diabetic Foot Ulcers that are difficult to treat. If a number of biomarkers are identified using this approach, it can be a game changer for molecular therapy and precision-based medicine aimed at treating these ulcers and ensuring a better quality of life to these patients.
463 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes. Malta has one of the highest levels of cases, ranking third in Europe, with 12.2% of the population suffering from this disease.
Read more details about the medical background of the research in the FAQ section of this project .
The Reach of Multiple Donations
This project is being supported by the Research, Innovation and Development Trust (RIDT) of the University of Malta, which is tasked to support and sustain research in all areas of study at the university by raising funds from various sectors of society.
Keep checking for updates about this exciting project as we count down the moment to lift off!
5 August 2021
As the Zaar campaign blasts off, I now find myself sitting down and thinking. I once thought of doing something very big. I was young, maybe 10 - could be 11 - when I started becoming obsessed about doing something to have a huge impact on humans, maybe the world itself. I never understood what that would be, or could be. In fact - I confess to you... I STILL DON'T KNOW what it is that I need to do to find closure or satisfy my wish of younger years.
However, what you see here - may well be a step in that direction.
The incredible personal satisfaction, the sheer excitement of some of my close colleagues and collaborators - my own students (including Ms Christine Gatt reading for her PhD) working physically and practically to bring to light this work is a moment in time that I will cherish forever.
The list of thanks to people and organisations is huge. massive perhaps. however, I am sure they all know who they are. and will give them the honour and perhaps pride in sharing this small message, and say a word or two what this means for life scientists globally, what it means for medical #research and #health on #earth and what it means for next frontier research involving #space and #spaceexploration
Browse through the rewards available here. Become a backer by choosing one option and in so doing, keep those names coming, register to have your names and that of your loved ones to board our starship ? for a two-way trip to the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory powered by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket contracted by none other than NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration for a CRS-23 mission to bring so much valuable material and science to the benefit of humanity and life as we know it. Credit to our European counterparts - European Space Agency - ESA who albeit I never physically met them, I know that they are instrumental in executing Space Applications Services NV/SA experiments and processing to get the shipments safe and on time to the John F Kennedy Space Centre.
I will stop here for the first update. This is a written word, I hope that it will evoke different emotions, feelings and reactions to a wide and diverse group of people as possible.
Thanks ☺️ We shall be posting pictures of the rewards being made available. In the meantime, feel free to also get in touch personally on email@example.com to ensure you get to choose your seat and avoid disappointment. If you are a corporate sponsor, and looking to make a donation and have your logo feature in the upcoming mission events and campaign. Please get in touch for more details and how we can collaborate.
10 August 2021
We have now hit a week where each day counts, and each day – everyone from the team is doing something to further advance Project Maleth.
This week we have seen yet another strong collaboration announcement between a private technology company based in Qormi, Malta – Arkafort and the University of Malta facilitated through RIDT, Malta. The collaboration will see an in-kind contribution to the project using various assets, means and infrastructure to Project Maleth, and on top of that another 5,000 EUR in cash donation.
See Arkafort & Malta Chamber
This bring up the first goal of Project Maleth to success! and we are now rocketing into the first stretch goal up to 10,000 EUR.
This past and present week, we have also seen various media appearances of Professor Borg on Project Maleth. See ONE News and Times of Malta.
We are now also issuing the e-tickets to every backer and donor of the campaign, as well as to all those who simply wish to participate by sending their name only. This latter option can be done by sending an email with your name and surname only to firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Borg will now be joined By Mr Glenn Sciortino – the person responsible for the IT section of the project and the establishment of the mission control centre in Qormi to be able to monitor the experiment remotely whilst on board the ISS, as well as to access data and stream down the 100s and 1000s of messages and artwork of Maltese children from space back to earth.
What are the consequences of diabetes?
12-25% of diabetic patients are at risk of developing diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs), that tend tend to heal very slowly, becoming chronic and consequently infected, with the patient requiring hospitalisation.
In Malta, approximately 400 amputations are performed each year. Mortality rates of diabetic amputees, within 5 years of surgery, is 70%.
Currently, patients presenting with DFUs would undergo ulcer debridement and cleaning to remove the biofilm and necrotic tissue.
Medics are now using molecular diagnostic methods such as Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) that have proven to be far more sensitive than a culture that identifies a greater number of bacteria - showing that DFUs have a larger bacterial diversity than previously known.
How does Project Maleth fit into this?
As part of Project Maleth, the Ice Cubes #9 - SpaceOMIX experiment is being sent to the ISS to determine the biology of spaceflight and its effects on the skin microbiome of DFUs.
It is believed that a number of important key biomarkers and adaptation genes are perturbed when comparing ground-based growth of these microbiome cultures, versus the space-based microbiome samples on board the ISS.
What are the aims and objectives of Project Maleth?
In Malta, it’s the first time that a study on the microbiome of diabetic foot ulcers has been coupled with space bioscience research.
One aim of this study is to determine the full microbiome profile of DFUs in Malta. NGS results that are conducted on both ground-based and space-based samples are compared with those of conventional culture to determine (1) the different types of bacteria that are actually present in infected ulcers, and (2) their resistance to harsh environments.
Moreover, by identifying all the bacteria present, one can determine whether there are organisms that can be predictors of prognosis. The microbiome of healed ulcers can be compared to those that didn’t heal, giving an indication of which bacteria may be associated with chronicity.
4. https://www.dropbox.com/s/2ffby70lrchingm/MaltaGov-fdown.net.mp4?dl=0 - Press Conference at Esplora
5. https://www.dropbox.com/s/7uxc5q40mipatq8/Beheshti-Press-take%202.mp4?dl=0 - Intervention by Prof. Beheshti from NASA Ames Research Center
6. https://www.dropbox.com/s/dzttooq4ivdymay/Maleth%20launch.MOV?dl=0 - A typical trip from Earth to ISS, and back
08/25/2021MALETH: Malta’s Space Mission: Mercury€10.00
08/23/2021MALETH: Malta’s Space Mission: Mercury€10.00
08/22/2021MALETH: Malta’s Space Mission: Mercury€10.00
08/17/2021MALETH: Malta’s Space Mission: Mercury€10.00
08/17/2021MALETH: Malta’s Space Mission: Mercury€10.00
08/17/2021MALETH: Malta’s Space Mission:€100.00
08/17/2021MALETH: Malta’s Space Mission:€50.00
08/12/2021MALETH: Malta’s Space Mission:€5,000.00
08/10/2021MALETH: Malta’s Space Mission: Mercury€10.00
08/09/2021MALETH: Malta’s Space Mission:€30.00