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Space Pups Born From Mouse Sperm Stored on Space Station

Space Pups Born From Mouse Sperm Stored on Space Station

In the International Space Station, the babies of 168 special breeds of rats have been born after a rigorous process. The sperms of mice were stored in freeze-dried form at the International Space Station. These were then brought back to earth and rehydrated, as a result of which a good number of rats were born and the specialty is that they are free from all genetic defects.

Japanese researchers exposed sperm taken from rats to high levels of cosmic radiation for about six years. With this complex process, a large and healthy number of rat babies could be produced. The research used in this process was published on Friday. According to developmental biologist Teruhiko Waikama, there is a slight difference between the babies of mice born from sperm stored in space and those found on Earth.

Despite the sperm taken from Earth being stored on the space station, there is no genetic problem in the ‘Pups’ born. Waikama and his fellow researchers launched three boxes at Yamanshi University in Japan in 2013, each containing 48 ampules of freeze-dried sperm. These were kept for a long study. By doing this, they wanted to see if there was any change or damage in their DNA or reproductive cells when they process radiation on sperms in space. The batches involved in this process returned to Earth for fertilization from the space station in the first 9 months, then after two years and then finally after six years and the result is in front of you that such a large number of mouse pups were produced.

It was informed that when these rat babies grow up, they will undergo a process of random fertilization and from this the next generation will also be born normally. The ampules that were placed in the box were much smaller and lighter in size, thereby reducing the cost of the procedure. Voikama is now the director of the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and he further said that he was inspired by the science fiction that was associated with Heinlein and Asimov and both of them wanted to become astronauts. Voikama said that “Whenever the time comes to go to a planet other than Earth in the future, we will have to maintain the genetic resources of animals and pets along with the human race.

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