October 23, 2021

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‘Space pups’ born from freeze-dried mouse sperm stored on space station

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Freeze-dried mouse sperm that spent months at the International Space Station (ISS) returned to Earth and successfully fertilized mouse ovary eggs to produce twitchy-nosed “space pups” — for science. 

The Japanese researchers behind the new work, which they published today (June 11) in a new paper, wanted to know how space radiation affects fertility in mammals. Radiation can damage the DNA within cells, causing mutations (this is why dermatologists recommend using sunscreen). Environments on Earth with heavy radiation exposure can cause defects in the offspring of animals.

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