The crew of the International Space Stationconstantly studying the reaction of plants and animals to weightlessness. NASA researchers have previously evaluated the viability of laboratory mice in conditions without gravity, but now they talked about a deeper experiment that focuses on tracking their behavior and health. It turned out that the mice very quickly adapt to the new conditions, but a week later the young individuals begin to behave in a very strange way.
Back in 2014, about 20 mice participated inexperiment - they were subjected to the same impacts that face the crew of the ISS. Being inside a special cell Rodent Habitat, they were subjected to radiation and weightless conditions with a high concentration of carbon dioxide. Such a seemingly not entirely humane experiment allowed scientists to understand how these factors can influence the state of the physical and psychological health of living organisms.
In the course of a new experiment, researchersfound out how mice with relatively short lifespans react to long space missions. Only female mice participated in the experiment - when they flew out onto the ISS, they were 16 and 32 weeks old. The flight took three days, and after arrival they lived in a cage for about 37 days. For humans, this seems a short time, but for mice with a lifespan of no more than three years, this is a big test.
All 20 mice remained alive and did not even lose weight.- their weight was compared with the severity of mice from the control group that lived on Earth. Recording from surveillance cameras showed that the rodents quickly adapted to the conditions of weightlessness and calmly took food, cared for themselves and their relatives, and also actively investigated the cage. Weightlessness did not affect even their sleep quality.
The only thing that seemed unusual to scientists wasThe fact that after 7-10 days from the day of the beginning of the experiment young mice began to actively run along the walls of the cage. Researchers have not yet found an explanation for this behavior, but they already have a number of assumptions. Inadequate behavior can be the cause of stress associated with being in a confined space. Also running around can help mice again to feel the balance, which was disturbed by the lack of gravity. It is also believed that in this way they are just having fun.
Maybe the mice just started behaving like peopleand replenish low physical activity to avoid muscle wasting. Also, they just might like to run on the walls - many astronauts and participants of weightless flights on airplanes share what they like to push off from one wall to another.
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