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NASA's new rodent residence elevates research to greater heights
Date:5/23/2014

p>The maiden voyage of the rodent research system is scheduled to launch aboard SpaceX-4 in 2014. The goal of this first mission is to validate system performance and for the station crew to demonstrate critical research operations. On this same mission, the crew will conduct the Rodent Research-1 study, which is a two-fold investigation for NASA to validate the hardware, while the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) facilitates the first commercial research. Experiments will focus on the biological mechanisms of muscle tissue loss and maintenance. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop new treatments for muscle-wasting disorders. The second rodent research mission is planned to fly on SpaceX-6 in 2014.

NASA's rodent research system is opening up a new era in biomedical research for both NASA scientists and researchers in the commercial sector. "In the coming years, rodent studies conducted aboard the International Space Station will gather foundational data that will help advance human space exploration and provide new opportunities to improve quality of life on Earth," said Globus.

Rodents in residence aboard the space station "will enable, for the first time, spaceflight research that takes full advantage of the giant strides in molecular biology made on Earth in recent years. This includes advances in global gene expression analysis technology and a wide variety of novel genetic strains," said Globus. Answers to a new set of questions will be within reach, albeit in a very high place.


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Contact: Laura Niles
Laura.E.Niles@nasa.gov
281-244-7069
NASA/Johnson Space Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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