On December 6, the SpaceX Dragon ship will deliver 2.5 tons of cargo to the ISS, including several mice with reinforced muscles. They are used in an experiment on the use of a drug that prevents the loss of muscle mass in space. This is stated in the mission plan on the NASA website.
For the experiment, scientists use two groups of animals: traditional laboratory mice and genetically modified. The second group is distinguished by the fact that it does not limit the production of the hormone myostatin, the level of DNA – it is responsible for muscle growth in animals. Because of this, the muscle mass of such mice is twice as large as usual.
Ordinary mice will perform in the form of experimental animals: they will be given an experimental drug that will cause the production of myostatin. Thus, scientists want to find out whether it is possible to compensate for the loss of muscle mass in space. At the same time, the researchers did not exclude that the drug may find application on Earth, where the loss of bone and muscle mass is also a serious problem.
In addition to the “reinforced” mice, the SpaceX mission will deliver a “robo-hotel” to the ISS, which will allow the RELL robots used to search for air leaks to be fixed outside the station. In addition, Budweiser beer is on the ship – the company is investigating the malting of barley.