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Mice React To Microgravity While Aboard International Space Station

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posted on Apr, 15 2019 @ 01:40 AM
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Ar ticle


Spaceflight mice sent to the ISS would do all the things that a normal house mouse would do: feeding, grooming, huddling, and interacting with other mice. Throughout the duration of their experimental spaceflight, though, the mice also learned to propel themselves in zero gravity.


These behaviors of spaceflight rodents were detailed in a recent study published by the NASA Ames Research Center.



Nasa Rodent Center

In 2014, NASA sent 20 mice to live in the NASA Rodent Habitat for the first deployment of the Rodent Research Mission.

Scientists sent female mice aged 16 and 32 weeks old to space wherein the animals spent a total of 37 days in microgravity — a long-duration mission on the scale of the rodent life span.

Their habitat was a caged enclosure specifically designed for the experiment that probed how space and microgravity affect model organisms whose biology has similarities to human body systems.

Overall, the mice behaved normally and were in excellent health condition at the end of the study.





Defying Microgravity

A video showed that during their second day in orbit, the mice began adapting to microgravity while doing usual activities. The mice were seen using locomotion similar to hindlimbing, and they also used momentum to float to their destination.

Such observations indicate that spaceflight mice readily adapted to the habitat, propelling their bodies freely and actively and utilizing the entire volume of space available to them.

A week after the launch, some mice showed a unique behavior. The younger ones were more physically active than their older counterparts.

As shown in the NASA video, on the 11th day of their space flight, the mice were running and chasing each other inside the habitat. Their movements were almost like floating, indicating weightlessness in space. Their "race-tracking" behavior even evolved into a group activity.



The clip also shows a mouse on the other side of the cage, rotating itself in a position to eat, also while another mouse used its tail to balance and grab food.


"The rodents quickly adapted to their new weightless circumstances, for example by anchoring themselves to the habitat walls with their hindlimbs or tails and stretching out their bodies. This pose was similar to mice on Earth standing up on their back legs to explore their environment. " 
According to April Ronca, a researcher at NASA's Ames Research Center and lead author of the paper.


edit on 4/15/2019 by LtFluffyCakes96 because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 15 2019 @ 03:08 AM
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a reply to: LtFluffyCakes96

Lets hope they never escape and chew the wires.



posted on Apr, 15 2019 @ 05:31 AM
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a reply to: Trueman

Or have mouse poop floating around the ISS



posted on Apr, 15 2019 @ 05:35 AM
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a reply to: Macenroe82

NASA needs to train cats.



posted on Apr, 15 2019 @ 05:54 AM
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a reply to: LtFluffyCakes96

Very intriguing, still I do wonder how many time's the number 42 came up during that mission and if there were any cloaked vogon ship's nearby.
edit on 15-4-2019 by LABTECH767 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 15 2019 @ 08:04 AM
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a reply to: LtFluffyCakes96

Adorable.

On day 11 they were just having fun.

Indicates that if man is to manipulate well and negotiate successfully with microgravity, we will need to regrow our prehensile tails.

:;



posted on Apr, 15 2019 @ 08:12 AM
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originally posted by: Trueman
a reply to: LtFluffyCakes96
Lets hope they never escape and chew the wires.

Maybe it was the mice that had escaped the cages and made the "drill sized hole" in the ISS.
edit on 4/15/2019 by LtFluffyCakes96 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 15 2019 @ 08:16 AM
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a reply to: ladyinwaiting

They may have had a box-like enclosure, but that didn't stop them from making it an exercisable running wheel.

edit on 4/15/2019 by LtFluffyCakes96 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 15 2019 @ 09:11 AM
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This is an interesting "experiment", but I feel sorry for the mice. Sure, they appear to be okay and have swiftly adapted to the strange environment, but their enclosure is horrible as far as providing any comfort for them. Mice and other prey-animals need a place to retreat. I'm pretty sure the mice will be necroposied when the experiment on the station concludes, an unfortunate end to their short space-faring lives. And, those "food-bars" that NASA gives them for nutrition are like the slop eaten in The Matrix.



posted on Apr, 15 2019 @ 09:55 AM
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a reply to: LABTECH767

As long as nobody drank any tea nor any Vogon poetry was read aloud, I think all will be well.
😁
👍
🍻
edit on 9Mon, 15 Apr 2019 09:56:23 -0500amvAmerica/ChicagoMondayb20194America/Chicago by Gravelbone because: I'm still a newb sometimes.



posted on Apr, 15 2019 @ 10:16 AM
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Looks like Douglas Adams was right about mice...

I hope NASA had a way to acquire the feces and urine. I don't like the smell of mice and rats...



posted on Apr, 15 2019 @ 10:35 AM
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originally posted by: LtFluffyCakes96
a reply to: ladyinwaiting

They may have had a box-like enclosure, but that didn't stop them from making it an exercisable running wheel.


Yep. We could all take a lesson from them. Anyway, thanks for the vid. It's delightful.



posted on Apr, 15 2019 @ 11:02 AM
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a reply to: LtFluffyCakes96

Thanks for posting this,fascinating, I'm always a bit mixed emotions about tests with animals
I will do some more reading now and also about plants as well because I just wondered how they know their way up or down to grow in space lol

Cordially,
Paul



posted on Apr, 15 2019 @ 11:27 AM
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originally posted by: NightFlight
Looks like Douglas Adams was right about mice...

I hope NASA had a way to acquire the feces and urine. I don't like the smell of mice and rats...


The only time mice and rats (and most other rodents) "stink" is when males reach puberty- in mice that's at about 2 months. They begin to secrete musk from glands near the base of their tail. I neuter males and the musk odor disappears within days - it's well worth the cost of the procedure, but it is risky and should only be done by a very skilled vet surgeon. I just lost one mouse a few weeks ago because he chewed at the incision and pulled some intestines out, and chewed off a long length of them.
edit on 4152019 by seattlerat because: (no reason given)



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