Honolulu — Dozens of squid babies from Hawaii are in space for research.
The Hawaiian baby Dango squid was raised at the Kewaro Marine Research Institute at the University of Hawaii and launched into space on a SpaceX supply mission to the International Space Station earlier this month.
Researcher Jamie Foster, who holds a PhD from the University of Hawaii, is studying how spaceflight affects squid in the hope of enhancing human health on long-range space missions. Honolulu Star-Advertiser Reported Monday.
Squid is symbiotic with natural bacteria that help regulate bioluminescence.
When astronauts are under low gravity, the relationship between their bodies and microbes changes, said Professor Margaret McFall Nai of the University of Hawaii, where Foster learned in the 1990s.
“We found that the symbiosis of humans and microorganisms was confused by microgravity. Jamie showed that it also applies to squid,” said McFaul Nai. “And because it’s a simple system, she can figure out what’s wrong.”
Foster is currently a professor in Florida and a principal investigator in the NASA program, which studies how microgravity affects the interaction between animals and microorganisms.
“As astronauts spend more time in space, their immune system becomes so-called dysregulated, which doesn’t work either,” Foster said. “Their immune system does not easily recognize bacteria. They sometimes get sick.”
Understanding what happens to squid in space can help solve the health problems faced by astronauts, Foster said.
“There are aspects of the immune system that don’t work well in long space flights,” she said. “If humans want to spend time on the Moon or Mars, they have to solve their health problems to get there safely.”
The Kewalo Marine Laboratory breeds squid for research projects around the world. There are many small animals in the Hawaiian waters, about 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) as long as adults.
Squid will return to Earth in July.
NASA sends squid from Hawaii to space for research
Source link NASA sends squid from Hawaii to space for research