Worms in space: past missions

We have previously flown C. elegans in space and have found that:

  • Worms and people show similar biological changes in space, including alterations to muscle and the ability to use energy

  • When these changes occur in muscle on Earth, they cause health problems such as muscular dystrophy and diabetes

However, we still don't fully understand what molecules cause spaceflight-induced muscle loss so we will fly worms to the International Space Station to try and find answers. Because of similarities between the health problems seen in space and major health concerns on Earth, understanding how and why these changes occur in worms may:

  • Tell us why these same changes occur in astronauts

  • Help us develop new treatments for muscular dystrophies

  • Help us improve treatments for diabetes

  • Help us understand ageing muscle loss

Click on the MME logo for more information on our experiment