Scientists To Send Extra-Muscular Mice To The ISS
Aadhya Khatri - Dec 05, 2019
The "mighty mice" play an important role in finding a novel method to cure bone and muscle loss in human in space and on Earth
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The ISS (International Space Station) is going to welcome some really strange residents onboard.
This Saturday, a SpaceX craft will start its journey to the ISS with 2,585 kg of cargo to the International Space Station including equipment, supplies in general, and some “mighty mice,” which will play an important part in the research to protect astronauts’ health while in space.
These mice are part of the Rodent Research-19 experiment. Back on Earth, they are specially designed to have no myostatin, a type of protein that determines the limit of muscle growth. This means these mighty mice’s mass of skeletal muscles is double that of normal ones.
Another group of mice also making their way to the ISS is those that have not yet been altered. The astronauts on the station will conduct experiments on them by injecting them a drug containing myostatin.
What researchers expect to gain from sending genetically altered mice to the ISS is a way to prevent muscle loss on Earth and in space. As these rodents are about to be subjected to the same environments as the astronauts, the scientists can gain insight into the effect of myostatin targeting.
Humans who have been to space suffer from the atrophy of muscles and bones. Even on Earth, the condition can also appear. This is why researchers expect to gain insight into it and find a cure.
According to Emily Germaine-Lee, co-investigator of this project and an MD at Connecticut Children's Medical Center, The drug that will be tested on the ISS is expected to help prevent both bone and muscle loss in space and on Earth.