The crew of the International Space Station is constantly studying the reaction of plants and animals in weightlessness. Previously, NASA researchers had already assessed the viability of laboratory mice under conditions of no gravity, but now they talked about a more profound experiment, which focused on monitoring their behavior and health. It turned out that mouse very quickly adapt to the new conditions, however, a week later, young individuals begin to behave very strangely.
Back in 2014 about 20 mice participated in the experiment, they were subjected to the same impacts faced by the ISS crew. Inside special cells Rodent Habitat, they were subjected to radiation and weightless conditions with a high concentration of carbon dioxide. So, it would seem, not very humane experiment allowed scientists to understand how these factors can affect physical and psychological health of living organisms.
In the new experiment, the researchers found, mice with a relatively short lifespan react to prolonged space missions. In the experiment involved only female mice — when they flew on the ISS, they were 16 and 32 weeks . The flight took three days, and after arrival they lived in a cage for about 37 days. For a human this seems a small period, but for mice with a life expectancy of not more than three years — this is a big test.
All 20 mice were still alive and not even lost weight — their weight was compared with the weight of the mice in the control group who lived on Earth. Recording from surveillance cameras showed that rodents quickly adapt to microgravity and quietly took food, looked after him and relatives, and actively explored the cage. Weightlessness is not even influenced their sleep quality.
The only thing that seemed unusual scientist is that after 7-10 days of the start of the experiment the young mice started to run around the walls of the cells. Researchers have not yet found the explanation for such behaviour, but they already have a number of assumptions. Inappropriate behavior can be cause of stress associated with being in a confined space. Also running can help the mice to feel again the balance that was disturbed by the absence of gravity. Also, it is believed that in this way they are simply having fun.
Maybe the mouse just started behaving like men, and to fill little physical activity to avoid muscle atrophy. Also, they just may like to run on the walls — many of the astronauts and members of the weightless flights of share that they like to push off from one wall to the other.
What, in your opinion, caused the strange behavior of young mice? Share your opinion in the comments and don’t forget to join in
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