FEB 19, 2017 9:01 AM PST

Gravity & Growth - Stem Cells get Sent to Space

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

NASA will send the SpaceX CRS-10 mission from Florida's Kennedy Space Center to restock the International Space Station. Scientists have also added a special cargo to the delivery - human stem cells. Mayo Clinic stem cell biologist Abba Zubair, M.D., Ph.D. has spent more than three years working on the plan for these experiments.

"We know stem cells grow differently using simulated microgravity," explained Dr. Zubair. "Primarily, our focus is to see if microgravity actually can help stem cells to expand faster, so that we can grow more of them to bring back to use for human application." It takes a very long time, up to a month, to generate enough stem cells for patient therapeutics. This could help change that. A ready supply of cells could have myriad applications.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on over 30 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 70 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
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