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(New page: ==Overview== We seek to understand how microgravity affects embryonic development in rats and how, if possible, to restore normal growth to embryos while still in microgravity conditions. ...)
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Revision as of 01:33, 9 May 2013
We seek to understand how microgravity affects embryonic development in rats and how, if possible, to restore normal growth to embryos while still in microgravity conditions.
Embryonic development has been simulated in microgravity conditions on earth before, and it has been found that the embryos were not able to develop to term. However, already pregant rats have successfully given birth in space before. It is thought that this developmental failure is a result of the lack of formation of microtubulues on the cellular level.
We hope to precisely identify the time that gravity becomes critical to further development. We will incubate mice embryos under microgravity conditions, and vary the length of time they are allowed to develop both with and without gravity before implantation. It is our hope that we can identify a critical phase of development that requires gravity. We will then examine the embryos at this stage and examine what signal pathways are active and how the cell is interacting with its cytoskelaton support. Finally, we will attempt to activate these pathways to trigger the downstream effects of gravity.
Identify the gravity dependent components of embryonic development and develop a signal or environmental based factor capable of restoring development potential.