RFI Number: NNH12ZTT001L
Release Date: December 11, 2012
Response Date: February 11, 2013
This is a Request for Information (RFI) only and does not constitute a commitment, implied or otherwise, that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will take procurement action in this matter. The information gathered will be used by NASA to make decisions regarding the development of strategies and programs for the collection, management, and distribution, or access to, Omics-type data collected in the course of space biology research.
Responses to a series of specific questions must be submitted electronically using the NSPIRES web site by opening the NASA Research Opportunities homepage at http://nspires.nasaprs.com and then clicking the link through the menu listings "Proposals" to "Create NOI" and selecting this RFI (NSPIRES account registration is required).
Over the last 10-15 years the development of advanced throughput molecular and biochemical analysis technologies has revolutionized biology, medicine, agriculture, drug discovery, and environmental research. The human genome project was advanced based on the emergence and development of some of these new biotechnology approaches that now include high speed gene sequencing, DNA biochips, and the use of mass spectrometry for protein detection. Together these technologies have enabled the advancement of new subfields collectively referred to as "Omics" approaches. These include genomics, expressomics, (transcriptomics, epigenomics, and proteomics) and metabolomics. The massive amount of information spurred by these fields has also driven the merging of information science and computer engineering with biology and has spun off the field of bioinformatics. Until now NASA has not engaged these approaches at a programmatic platform level.
The recent Decadal Survey Report, "Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era," by the National Research Council (http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13048), specifically mentions the need for NASA to utilize new Omics research technologies, and to promote multi-investigator research approaches. Most universities now own and operate central research facilities based on the latest available Omics technologies that are outside of the scope of operation for single Principal Investigator (PI) labs. NASA may benefit from a similar approach, developing an organized multi-investigator approach for omics research. This multi-investigator approach has worked for NASA in other arenas. For example, the astrophysics community has proven that large science initiatives, like Hubble Space Telescope, based on massive programmatic investments are successful in advancing the missions of the agency. Now NASA maintains centralized computational and research capabilities in the life sciences that may be applied to create a multi-user Omics research capability to support NASA-funded investigations in areas of space life sciences.
NASA is seeking information from all interested parties in two areas through a series of questions by accessing the NSPIRES web site listed above. First, NASA is requesting information from the space life sciences research community regarding the collection, management and distribution or access to, Omics type data collected in the course of space biology research. Second, NASA is requesting capability information from potential interested parties to develop a space life sciences Omics database.
This is not a solicitation announcement. If a solicitation is released it will be synopsized in FedBizOpps and on the NASA Acquisition Internet Service. It is the potential offeror's responsibility to monitor these sites for the release of any solicitation or synopsis. This sources sought synopsis is for informational and planning purposes only and is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government nor will the Government pay for any information solicited.
NASA Primary Point of Contact (POC):
David L. Tomko
Space Life and Physical Sciences Division
Washington, D.C., 20546-0001