Embryos grow in space on Chinese satellite
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.