Epithelial and fibroblast cell coculture: Long-term growth human mammary epithelial cells (HMEC) admixed in coculture with fibroblast from the same initial breast tissue grown as 3-dimenstional constructions in the presence of attachment beads in the NASA Bioreactor. A: A typical constrct about 2.0 mm in diameter without beads on the surface. The center of these constrcts is hollow, and beads are organized about the irner surface. Although the coculture provides smaller constructs than the monoculture, the metabolic of the organized cells is about the same. B, C, D: Closer views of cells showing that the shape of cells and cell-to-cell interactions apprear different in the coculture than in the monoculture constructs. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) is sponsoring research with Bioreactors, rotating wall vessels designed to grow tissue samples in space, to understand how breast cancer works. This ground-based work studies the growth and assembly of human mammary epithelial cell (HMEC) from breast cancer susceptible tissue. Radiation can make the cells cancerous, thus allowing better comparisons of healthy vs. tunorous tissue. Credit: Dr. Robert Richmond, NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC).