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.