Squids in space! Hawaiian cephalopods to keep astronauts healthy | Unusual news
Dozens of baby squids have been sent into space for scientists to see how they have been affected by their journey.
The 128 baby Hawaii squids were launched into orbit earlier this month on a SpaceX replenishment mission to the International Space Station.
Scientists say understanding how the octopuses manage their journey into space could help solve astronauts’ health problems.
Researcher Jamie Foster said, “As astronauts spend more and more time in space, their immune systems become dysregulated. It doesn’t work that well.
“Your immune system doesn’t recognize bacteria that easily. Sometimes they get sick.”
She added, “There are aspects of the immune system that just don’t work properly on long-term flights.
“If people want to spend time on the moon or Mars, we have to solve health problems to get them there safely.”
Professor Margaret McFall-Ngai of the University of Hawaii, who was one of Foster’s teachers in the 1990s, said, “We have found that microgravity disrupts human symbiosis with their microbes, and Jamie has shown that this is at Cuttlefish is the case.
“And because it’s a simple system, it can get to the bottom of mistakes.”
The squids are bred at the Kewalo Marine Laboratory, which breeds the species for research projects around the world.
The animals, which are abundant in Hawaiian waters, grow to only 7 cm long and only live two to three months in the wild.
They will be frozen for their return to Earth in July.