Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

is the new name of the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre

BPoD is 5

In 2017 we celebrate five years of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science

Space Marine
05 February 2017

Space Marine

As the old joke goes: three fish are in a tank, one says “How do you drive this thing?” Medaka fish like these have gone one better – blasting off on a space rocket. On board the International Space Station (ISS), medaka make good models for the effects of low gravity on humans. Recently, scientists in Japan watched remotely from Earth as a microscope on the ISS took a close look at developing medaka bone cells. Within a day of being in microgravity, genes in the fish’s osteoblast and osteoclast cells, which help to make new bones, began to change. This strange bone-building response may combat the loss bone minerals brought on by low gravity, suggesting clues to why human astronauts often have skeletal problems. Future space-travellers may have these pioneering gravitational biology experiments, and the medaka fish, to thank for pain-free missions in the future.

Written by John Ankers

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BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences (the new name for the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre) the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

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