NASA and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space have opened the International Space Station to stem cell research in a move aimed at addressing medical conditions both in space and on Earth.
Scientists can study non-embryonic stem cell properties using the ISS U.S. National Laboratory’s microgravity environment, NASA said Friday.
NASA intends for the space-based cell studies help figure out out how to counter the impact of microgravity on human health such as bone loss and muscle atrophy, as well as seek cure for the elderly suffering from similar cases.
The stem cell studies led by Mary Kearns-Jonker of Loma Linda University in California and Roland Kaunas of Texas A&M University are scheduled for launch into the ISS in 2014.
Kearns-Jonker will aim to develop cardiac cell therapy for the aging of neonatal and adult cardiac stem cells in microgravity and Kaunas, along with co-researchers, a system for co-culturing and examining stem cells mixed with bone tumor cells in microgravity.
Researchers will work to determine molecular targets for cancer-specific medicines, NASA says.