Mouse sperm sent into space

Science Illustrated - - SCIENCE UPDATE -

Space agen­cies aim to take us to other plan­ets, but they do not know how that would af­fect our re­pro­duc­tive sys­tem. Ac­cord­ing to re­cent sci­en­tific re­search, we need not fear that ra­di­a­tion will cause kids to be born with ex­tra limbs. Ja­panese sci­en­tists have sent frozen mouse sperm to the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion, ISS, or­bit­ing Earth at an al­ti­tude of 400 km. Here, ra­di­a­tion is more than 100 times worse than on Earth...

Af­ter the trip, the sperm spec­i­mens re­turned to Earth, and sci­en­tists used them to fer­til­ize eggs, which they placed in the wombs of fe­male mice. A con­trol group was fer­til­ized with or­di­nary sperm cells. All pups were healthy and nor­mal.

Af­ter nine months in space, mouse sperm fa­thered these healthy mouse pups, with no prob­lems (yet).

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