NASA has proven that Rodent Habitat offers the opportunity to conduct significant long-term biological research studies at the ISS. Rodents used for the space experiment even learned to defy weightlessness. ( April Ronca | Youtube )
Earth Mice, sent by NASA to the International Space Station, quickly adapted to space. The rodents even learned to defy weightlessness.
Space mouses sent to the ISS would do all the things a normal house mouse would do: feeding, cleaning, cuddling and interacting with other mice. However, during the entire experimental space flight, the mice also learned to move in weightlessness.
This behavior of spaceflight aircraft was described in detail in a study recently published by the NASA Ames Research Center.
According to the study, behavioral analysis can shed light on how animals have become accustomed to the environment of space, and how changes in physical activity, feeding, drinking, circadian shifts, and social interactions can alter other experimental measures.
NASA's behavioral study focused on how mouse physiology responds to the space environment during extended missions and similarities in response to the astronaut crew.
NASA Rodent Center
In 2014, NASA sent 20 mice to live in the NASA Rodent Habitat for the first deployment of the Rodent Research Mission.
Scientists sent female mice into space at the age of 16 and 32 weeks, in which the animals spent a total of 37 days in weightlessness – a long-term mission within rodent life.
Their habitat was a cage designed specifically for experimentation to investigate how space and microgravity affect model organisms whose biology resembles human body systems.
Overall, the mice behaved normally and were in excellent health at the end of the study.
A video showed that the mice got used to weightlessness on their second day in orbit during their usual activities. The mice were seen moving like a hindlimb, and they also used the impulse to get to their destination.
Such observations suggest that space mice adapt easily to the habitat, freely and actively propel their bodies, and use the full volume of space available to them.
One week after the start, some mice showed a unique behavior. The younger ones were physically more active than their older counterparts.
As shown in the NASA video, the mice ran on the 11th day of their space flight and hunted each other within the habitat. Her movements were almost like levitation, indicating the weightlessness in space. Their "race-tracking" behavior even evolved into a group activity.
The clip also showed a mouse on the other side turning to eat in one position while another mouse used its tail to balance and feed. Another rodent grabbed a mug inside the enclosure with his hind paw to find balance and take care of themselves.
"The rodents quickly adapted to their new weightless circumstances, for example, by anchoring themselves on the habitat walls with their hind legs or tails and stretching their bodies out, resembling Earthy mice standing on their hind legs toward their surroundings explore. "According to April Ronca, a researcher at NASA's Ames Research Center and lead author of the newspaper.
NASA has proven that the Rodent Habitat offers the opportunity to conduct significant long-term biological research studies at the ISS.
The study is published in Scientific reports Diary.
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