SpaceX Muscle launch explores secrets of aging

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SpaceX has been transporting cargo to the International Space Station since 2012, sending various items – from robot parts and a vegetable patch to genetically modified mice – aboard its rockets. And while they may seem haphazard, each element serves its own purpose in the critical research being done at the ISS, including the following.

SpaceX has launched human muscle cells into space in an attempt to explore something that will have applications in space and on Earth as well: the effects of aging.

A team of scientists from the University of Liverpool have embarked on a research initiative they call the MicroAge Study, the main goal of which is to learn why people’s muscles weaken as they age.

This phenomenon is parallel to that which occurred with the astronauts: in weightlessness, the muscles also tend to weaken.

Now, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket has sent muscle cells as large as a grain of rice to the ISS, stored in a 3D printed medium described as the size of a small pencil sharpener. The 24 separate muscles will then be electrically stimulated to contract the tissue, as if they were engaged in an exercise. Cells grown in the lab will also experience other experiences related to their zero-gravity environment before being sent back to Earth for further study.

Research officials say it took a lot of preparation to bring this type of experience into space, and the necessary electronic equipment had to be downsized from the size of a large desk to that of a game. Cards.

According to the Daily Mail, UK Minister for Science George Freeman described research into microgravity muscle loss as a way to potentially identify cures for musculoskeletal disease, saying: “By exploiting the environment unique to the International Space Station, our pioneering scientists could help us all live healthier and stronger lives.

Image Credit: Thomas Industry Update

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