The ’40 mighty mice’ that went to space could help protect astronauts’ muscles and bones

Genetically enhanced “mighty mice” that went to space are said to help protect astronauts’ muscles and bones. According to a health experiment on the International Space Station, blocking a molecular signaling pathway can protect against muscle and bone density loss in the absence of gravity. It also revealed that the treatment promoted the recovery of muscle and bone mass when the mice returned to Earth.

The nonprofit Jackson Laboratory in Maine provided the 40 female mice that went to space. These mice were genetically manipulated for muscle growth in an experiment to understand how zero gravity affects the human body.

The experiment results are conducive as they could be used to develop therapies to help astronauts mitigate the muscle and bone loss that they experience during long-term spaceflight. Besides, the same could also be used to help people on Earth who suffer muscle and bone loss due to conditions such as osteoporosis, muscular dystrophy, and other diseases causing muscle wasting like cancer, heart disease, sepsis, and AIDS.