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, coupled with the attention grabbing headline that the BBC felt compelled to use. They do that a lot and are usually spartan with facts, (they didn't even specify what kind of worms they were).
In preparation for longer spaceflight, scientists have designed shields to deflect harmful energetic particles, and continue to study the ill-effect of weightlessness on astronauts.
Dr Szewczyk said: “A fair number of scientists agree that we could colonize other planets. While this sounds like science fiction it is a fact that if mankind wants to avoid the natural order of extinction then we need to find ways to live on other planets. Thankfully most of the world’s space agencies are committed to this common goal.
“While it may seem surprising, many of the biological changes that happen during spaceflight affect astronauts and worms and in the same way. We have been able to show that worms can grow and reproduce in space for long enough to reach another planet and that we can remotely monitor their health.
As a result C. elegans is a cost effective option for discovering and studying the biological effects of deep space missions. Ultimately, we are now in a position to be able to remotely grow and study an animal on another planet.”