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Public Health and Sport Sciences

Defining the causes of, and countermeasures to, health challenges in space

Over the past 10 years we have been performing research that aims to understand why astronauts lose muscle size and strength whilst living in space. We have established C. elegans as a highly effective and efficient model for understanding how spaceflight causes muscle loss, and for exploring effective therapies.

Over at least 6 separate experiments on the International Space Station, and partnering with researchers from around the world, we have established the molecules that seem to regulate spaceflight-induced muscle loss. With ongoing projects such as the ‘Molecular Muscle Experiment’ and new space experiments selected for upcoming missions, we will improve our understanding of whether interventions that target spaceflight-responsive molecules can prevent muscle loss in space.

Outreach and school resources

We also conduct school and public outreach events associated with our spaceflight work. For more information on our outreach activities please visit our Molecular Muscle Experiment website, follow us on Twitter, or get in touch with one of our research team.

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Funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the European Space Agency, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), and the UK Space Agency.

URKI Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council logo

European Space Agency logo

UKRI Science and Technology Facilities Council logo

UK Space Agency logo