Feb 22, 2017 07:15 PM EST

Mice On A Mission As NASA Sends Rodents To Space To Study Bone Healing

Space Station Live: Rodent Research Flies Again
The video shows one of NASA's rodent research files.
(Photo : NASA Johnson/YouTube)

NASA is closely working with an Indiana University researcher for a medical experiment. Some of the students and faculty members of the Indiana University send off 40 mice to space through NASA’s assistance in order to study bone healing. This study is done to help those people with traumatic bone injuries.

According to CBS4, Dr. Melissa Kacena, an associate professor of the orthopedic surgery at the IU School of Medicine spent a couple of years studying bone healing. And she is confident that she will be able to help a lot of people, especially those wounded soldiers.

Kacena has been working with NASA, the Department of Defense and the U.S. Army on a research study in order test new bone healing agent as reported by Current In Zionsville. When soldiers are injured from a blast, they would either get amputated or undergo an extensive skeletal reconstructive surgery.

Researchers were able to perform bone healing surgeries on mice and they found out that once the mice woke up from surgery its initial instinct is to put weight on its injured limb. They do this because weight bearing helps a lot in the healing process.

However, that does not work for human. There will be no weight bearing for humans for quite awhile. “So if we could test these drugs up in space where there’s no weight-bearing, that would allow us to understand better if (the treatments) really will work in humans,” said Kacena.

For them to know if the test is effective they need to get rid of gravity. That is why on Feb. 18, at 10:01 A.M. Kacena and her team send off 40 mice into space via the SpaceX rocket at the Kennedy Center. Those mice had undergone surgery and as soon as they arrive at the International Space Station, they will put them in a habitat for a duration of one month.

Kacena and her team hope that space will provide a better model. ”Reduced gravity induces cell proliferation and propagation; a potent environment for tissue regeneration,” as stated by NASA. With the said experiment, they will be able to have a better understanding on how to make it work for humans since rodent biology is directly related to human biology. Once the samples will return, Kacena’s team will be spending several months to thoroughly study it.

Meanwhile, last December, Jobs & Hire reported that Dutch scientists from the Eindhoven University of Technology were able to create an artificial leaf to help produce medicine. The artificial leaf uses sunlight for its production, just like recreating photosynthesis.

Watch the video below:

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