Dr. Brian Spooner
Dr. David Saunders
Dr. Gary Conrad
A number of mammalian and avian organ rudiments develop in culture with remarkable temporal fidelity to in vivo development. It is possible to modify the culture conditions to those which are appropriate for spaceflight, allowing the demonstration that differentiation of tissues can take place in space. Studies have shown that spaceflight affects organ and tissue development. A tentative interpretation is that systems like the heart and metatarsals require gravity for development, which would be consistent with their functions in moving fluids against gravity or as load-bearing tissues in the presence of gravity. Other systems like the pancreas, develop more rapidly when gravity is reduced, as though gravity controls the pace of development. The Japanese quail, a popular Russian research organism, is being used to study the effects of microgravity on embryological corneal development, while brine shrimp are used to study the effects of microgravity on organismal development.
The objectives of this research are to:
Brine shrimp hatched in space show an increased rate of development.
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