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Feb 18, 2017 08:10 AM EST

NASA To Send Mice To Space For Bone Healing Study

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NASA is getting their hands on some medical experiments with an Indiana University researcher. They are going to send some mice into space to study bone healing and how it can help people with bone injuries that are traumatic by nature.

Dozens of mice will be sent out into space through NASA's assistance. Under Dr. Melissa Kacena's guidance, the associate professor of orthopedic surgery at the IU School of Medicine, they can determine a bone-healing therapy that can potentially help soldiers who suffered in IED blast explosions.

She is currently partnering with the Department of Defense and the United States Army, as well, as reported by WTTV. Musculoskeletal injuries can be hard to heal. Patients would suffer its long term effects, go through reconstructive surgery or would undergo amputation. With NASA's help, researchers can test bone-healing surgeries on mice using zero gravity.

The theory is that mice that wake up from bone surgery would instinctively put weight on the injured limb and it helps with the healing process. Compare that to humans, they would evade walking on the injured limb because of the pain which means they would likely be bed-ridden or aided with crutches for months.

NASA can test the mice's healing process through zero gravity. Kacena hopes that space will provide a better model. NASA's assistance on this experiment can lead to further understanding of human's ability to biologically heal, as reported by NASA.

In their mission, these mice are to be sent off via NASA's Rodent Habitat facilities. They are going to be routinely monitored by NASA's team. At the same time, mice experiments on the ground are also being tested. Spaceflight and on-ground facilities and staff are going to critically follow the same schedule and processes with similar conditions for proper comparison.

Want to learn more about bone healing? Watch this TED video below:

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