Science News

Chinese Hatch Space-chickens

Sat, 6th Jul 2002

Part of the show Chemists Graeme Hogath and Ivan Parkin - Explosions and Glass That Never Needs Cleaning

Sticking with a space-theme, Chinese scientists in Beijing have recently been looking at the effects of space-travel on the development of chickens. Chinese researchers sent a clutch of chickens eggs into space for 7 days, during which they orbited the Earth over 100 times aboard the Shenzhou III space capsule. The eggs were then returned to the laboratory and hatched. The scientists are now looking for any genetic defects caused by the space travel and hope to breed from the chicks that they have reared so that they can study their offspring to see if any side effects are passed on. Naturally, if humans are to sustain themselves on long space journeys to colonise distant planets then an understanding of the impact of space travel on reproduction is critical, which is why this work is extremely important.


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