Em­bryos grow in space on Chi­nese satel­lite

China Daily (Canada) - - NEWS CAPSULE -

The lat­est re­sults from ex­per­i­ments aboard China’s SJ-10 re­cov­er­able satel­lite prove for the first time that early-stage mam­mal em­bryos can de­velop in space.

High-res­o­lu­tion pho­to­graphs sent from the country’s first mi­cro­grav­ity satel­lite, SJ-10, launched on April 6, show that mouse em­bryos con­tin­ued to suc­cess­fully de­velop through­out a 96-hour pe­riod.

“We have fi­nally proven that the most cru­cial step in our re­pro­duc­tion early em­bryo de­vel­op­ment is pos­si­ble in outer space,” said Duan Enkui, a pro­fes­sor at the In­sti­tute of Zo­ol­ogy af­fil­i­ated with the Chi­nese Academy of Sciences, and the prin­ci­pal re­searcher in­volved with the ex­per­i­ment.

The first at­tempt to de­velop mam­malian em­bryos in space was car­ried out by NASA’s STS80 Space­craft in 1996. How­ever, none of the 49 mouse em­bryos on board suc­cess­fully de­vel­oped.

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