MeDirect, Malta’s first digital bank, is a proud supporter of Project Maleth II, the second mission under space bioscience experiment Project Maleth which was launched in 2021 to investigate the effects of spaceflight and microgravity on diabetic foot ulcer skin tissue samples together with the microbiome. This is a full collection of bacteria, viruses and fungi that live off the skin and may be harmful if wound ulcers develop, such as in the case of patients with diabetes mellitus type 2.
The Maleth Program is the first Maltese space bioscience project led by Professor Joseph Borg from the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Malta.. Maleth II was launched on 15 July 2022.
“Maleth II boarded a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft for the launch as part of Commercial Re-supply Mission 25 (CRS25) and will stay in orbit for around 50 to 60 days”, said Prof Borg. The Maleth II bio cube will once again be remotely controlled from Malta by Arkafort Ltd in collaboration with Prof. Borg and can provide real-time telemetry data on the running experiment on board the space station.
Prof Borg also explained: “Alongside the human skin tissue samples to study the microbiome involved in diabetes, there is also a yeast sample that forms part of an ongoing mini-project supported by Singleron Biotechnologies to detect at a single cell level all the genetic changes inside the yeast cells when exposed to low earth orbit conditions.”
Chris Portelli, Group CTO of MeDirect Bank, stated: “MeDirect is proud to be a partner in this exciting Maltese research project. MeDirect is driven by research and innovation and believes that research projects like Project Maleth II is the driver behind innovation. Similarly, single-cell analysis can be a powerful innovative tool in understanding the impact of space trips on biological organisms.
This project is also being conducted with the support of the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs, the Ministry for Education of Malta, and Singleron Biotechnologies. The mission is being facilitated by the Research, Innovation, Development Trust (RIDT) which will be supporting University of Malta students.