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NASA sent mice into the space to study how other species deal with low gravity specifically focusing on mice.
“Behavior is a remarkable representation of the biology of the whole organism,” said April Ronca, a researcher at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley, and lead author of the paper. “It informs us about overall health and brain function.”
Throughout their time aboard the space station, the mice actively explored the entire habitat.
NASA indicates “Unlike other rodent housing flown in space, the mice in this study were able to grab hold of things and to run inside NASA’s rodent habitat. That physical activity matters when scientists are studying the effect of microgravity on bone loss, for example, and need the animals to be able to move around in ways similar to humans. The habitat provides a useful basis for comparison of mice and humans for a better understanding of human responses to spaceflight”.
This new study will help scientists to establish a system as a capability for conducting long-duration rodent studies in space. Its findings will also inform the other spaceflight experiments in the Rodent Research series, which are now analyzing their results.
“Our behavioral study shows that the NASA Rodent Hardware System provides the capability to conduct meaningful long-duration biological research studies on the International Space Station,” said Ronca. “Experiments conducted in the habitat can focus on how mouse physiology responds to the spaceflight environment during extended missions and on similarities in response to astronaut crew.”
The study’s results were posted online in the journal Scientific Reports on April 11, 2019, using data from the Rodent Research-1 mission.
The Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space collaborated with NASA on the study. The total study duration included 37 days in microgravity. Watch the video below!
Source: Text; NASA
Image credit; http://blogs.discovermagazine.com
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