Scientists are shooting stem cells into space, hoping to make discoveries that help people on Earth
Scientists have put stem cells on the International Space Station to explore whether they will grow better in zero gravity.
These cells would potentially be able to generate nearly any other kind of cell, possibly unlocking the potential to make treatments for diseases while off-planet.
The experiment is the latest research project that involves shooting stem cells into space. Some, like this one, aim to overcome the terrestrial difficulty of mass producing the cells. Others explore how space travel impacts the cells in the body. And some help better understand diseases such as cancer.
“By pushing the boundaries like this, it’s knowledge and it’s science and it’s learning,” said Clive Svendsen, executive director of Cedars-Sinai’s Regenerative Medicine Institute.
Six earlier projects from the US, China and Italy sent up various types of stem cells — including his team’s study of the effects of microgravity on cell-level heart function, said Dr Joseph Wu of Stanford University, who directs the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute. Dr Wu helped coordinate a series of programs on space-based stem cell research last year.Continue reading… “Scientists are growing billions of stem cells on the ISS to help humans travel to other planets”