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Can humans reproduce in space? NASA wants to know

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

If the thought of conceiving in space or the potential of one day giving birth there seem unimaginable and far-fetched notions, then think again. NASA is already studying the possibility. With the Micro-11 mission, they recently launched human and bull sperm specimens to the international space station where astronauts will assist in experiments on the impact of microgravity on sperm’s motility and function.

Believe it or not, fertilization is not as simple as a sperm meeting an egg. There are processes that need to occur to ready the sperm to be optimally mobile, accelerate toward the egg and ultimately be able to make certain cellular adjustments to be able to fuse with it. Prior work demonstrates that with sea urchins, the motility aspect was faster in microgravity but the latter phase that permits penetration and fusion with the egg was suboptimal to nonexistent.

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NASA’s work is certainly bringing concepts previously believed to be science fiction into the territory of obviously remote, but potentially possible distant science future. Given the radiation issues and many challenges already in view, the end result is definitely an extremely lofty goal. Either way, whether we can or can’t procreate on the moon, the knowledge we will acquire along the journey will be no small step for man.

Read full, original post: Will Humans Be Able To Procreate In Space? NASA Studying Prospect

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