Mighty Mice Returned With Intact Muscle Mass from Space; Will Humans Be Next? 

Several scientists have previously warned that loss of muscle mass and deadly space radiation could be the most dangerous issues astronauts will face during deep space flights

This August 2020 photo provided by Dr. Se-Jin Lee shows a normal mouse and a “twice-muscled” mouse developed at the The Jackson Laboratory of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine in Farmington, Conn. Findings published on Monday, Sept. 7, 2020, show that muscle-bound mice, similar to the one pictured, held on to their bodybuilder-type physiques during a one month space mission Dr Se-Jin Lee/University of Connecticut School of Medicine via AP

Scientists have long been claiming that long deep-space flights could result in muscle and bone loss among astronauts, and this single factor has been worrying space agencies like NASA for years, as they are gearing up for the human Mars mission. But now, recent developments indicate that this problem can be solved permanently, as scientists have succeeded in bringing back mutant mighty mice from the space without any muscle loss.

A Milestone Development that could Catalyze Human Space Missions

This new study was led by Dr Se-Jin Lee of the Jackson Laboratory in Connecticut. During the study, researchers sent 40 black mice to the International Space Station, long back in December 2019.

According to the study report which is now published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 24 regular untreated mice lost a considerable amount of muscle mass, while the eight genetically engineered mice launched from the earth with double the mass, maintained their bulk effectively.

Interestingly, eight mice received mighty mouse muscle treatment in space, and they returned to earth with dramatically bigger and stronger muscles. The new treatment method relied on blocking proteins that are responsible for limiting muscle mass.

Dr Emily Germain-Lee of Connecticut Children's Medical Center revealed that more studies should be carried out to adopt similar treatment methods in astronauts who might be going for long Martian space flights.

Unending Space Radiation Worries

It was around a few years back that a study report published by the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health suggested a higher risk of developing dementia among people who received radiation therapy as a part of cancer treatment.

Now, several space scientists believe that similar chances of developing dementia are higher among astronauts who get exposed to space radiation. Renowned astrobiologist Samantha Rolfe also shared similar views, and she claims that human missions to the Red Planet could turn suicidal, mainly due to the exposure to deadly space radiation.