AFP: Mouse embryos have been grown on the International Space Station and developed normally in the first study indicating it could be possible for humans to reproduce in space, a group of Japanese scientists said.
The researchers, including Teruhiko Wakayama, professor of University of Yamanashi’s Advanced Biotechnology Centre, and a team from the Japan Aerospace Space Agency (JAXA), sent frozen mouse embryos on board a rocket to the ISS in August 2021.
Astronauts thawed the early-stage embryos using a special device designed for this purpose and grew them on the station for four days. “The embryos cultured under microgravity conditions developed” normally into blastocysts, cells that develop into the foetus and placenta, the scientists said.
The experiment “clearly demonstrated that gravity had no significant effect,” the researchers said in a study that was published online in the scientific journal iScience yesterday. They also said there were no significant changes in condition of the DNA and genes, after they analysed the blastocysts that were sent back to their laboratories on Earth.
Nayeemul Islam khan
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