Litters of healthy mice — “space pups” — prove which mouse sperm can be freeze-dried, flown around on the International Space Station for nine months as well as also then used to make babies, researchers via Japan are reporting in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Why do such a thing? At an altitude of 250 miles, where the station orbits, radiation is actually more than 100 times stronger than on earth. The scientists, via the University of Yamanashi, wanted to find out if prolonged exposure would certainly affect fertility or the health of any offspring. They are looking ahead to a time when humans spend years in space habitats as well as also might want to use frozen sperm as well as also eggs up there.
Much like the orange-flavored Tang which astronauts used to drink, freeze-dried mouse sperm can be reconstituted with water. Although tests on the space sperm did find slightly increased DNA damage, compared with freeze-dried earth sperm, the space variation did the job when which came to fertilizing eggs.
Birthrates as well as also male-to-female ratios were normal, as well as also the space pups went on to have healthy pups of their own. Apparently, after fertilization, nature somehow fixed the DNA damage.