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The 9-month frozen mouse sperm on ISS gave space babies

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Tinuku ~ Scientists at the International Space Station (ISS) injected a 9-month frozen sperm into a mouse egg and about 3 weeks later gave birth to 73 "space babies" just like other babies born from normal sperm. The team reports to the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences as the first good news for the continuity of mammal species in space.

Tinuku The 9-month frozen mouse sperm on ISS gave space babies

Scientists previously suggested the theory that samples during space travel would have signs of DNA damage caused by high radiation exposure and highly defective irreversible even on frozen samples.

This also occurs in sperm samples at ISS exposed to high levels of space radiation that show more fragmented DNA than sperm on Earth. DNA damage has been associated with lower fertility rates.

But when injecting "sperm space" into eggs mice produce a surprise. About 3 weeks later the female mice gave birth to healthy babies like them from normal sperm on Earth. This experiment was first performed for mammal species in space.

Teruhiko Wakayama, a University of Yamanashi biotechnologist, and the team showed experimental sperm rats are fertile, healthy and have no genetic differences compared to control brothers. DNA damage is repaired after conception and has no final effect on heredity.

Good news for future children and for many human astronauts who have become parents after spending time in space, though research needs to be done before the astronauts start packing to build settlements on Mars and beyond.

Scientists need to study sperm from other mammal species that are stored in space for longer time given that the most damaging radiation occurs outside the Earth's geomagnetic shield or far beyond the orbit of the ISS. The risk is much higher than around the planet. The 9-month frozen mouse sperm on ISS gave space babies

Wakayama and the team used sperm mice that were stored for more than 9 months on the ISS where radiation levels are approximately 100 times higher than on Earth. Frozen dried sperm from 12 mice sent to the ISS in 2013.

Astronauts placed samples in the freezer at -95C where they stayed for 288 Days. On Earth, the research team kept the sperm from the same mouse at the same temperature for the same amount of time as the control group.


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