Monday, July 15, 2024

Science creates mouse embryos in space, a sign that human reproduction is possible far from Earth


According to Japanese scientists, researchers aboard the International Space Station have created mouse embryos that develop normally, indicating that human reproduction in space is possible.

Researchers including Professor Teruhiko Wakayama at Yamanashi University’s Center for Advanced Biotechnology and a team from the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) sent frozen mouse embryos to the International Space Station in August 2021 by rocket.

Astronauts on the station thawed the embryos using a specially designed apparatus and implanted them in the station for 4 days.

“Embryos grown in microgravity conditions naturally developed into blastocysts,” the scientists noted.

In a study published on Saturday, October 28, 2023, on the website of the scientific journal “iScience”, the researchers pointed out that “gravity clearly demonstrated that gravity does not have a significant effect” on the issue of rat reproduction.

They noted that there were no significant changes in the state of DNA and genes, after analyzing the blastocysts – the cells that develop into an embryo and placenta – which were returned to laboratories on Earth.

Yamanashi University and Raikan National Research Institute said in a joint statement on Saturday, “This study is the first research work to show that mammals can reproduce in space. It is the world’s first experiment in -positioning mammalian embryos within gravity.” A complete microscope on the International Space Station.

He continued, “In the future, with the aim of confirming that the blastocysts are normal, it will be necessary on the International Space Station to grow blastocysts in mice in microgravity to see if these animals can give birth to young.

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This research is very important for future space missions.

Within the framework of the “Artemis” project, the American space agency NASA wants to send humans to the Moon, learn how to live there for a long time and prepare for a trip to Mars in the late 2030s.

Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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