NASA sends dozens of baby squids from Hawaii into space for research

NASA sends dozens of baby squids from Hawaii into space for research

NEW DELHI [Maha Media]: Humans are not the only ones in space right now.

Dozens of baby squids from Hawaii were sent to space by NASA earlier this month for a study.

The cephalopods, identified as baby Hawaiian bobtail squid, were raised at the University of Hawaii’s Kewalo Marine Laboratory before they were sent to space on a SpaceX resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS), according to an AP report.

The research, which aims to study how spaceflight affects squid in hopes of bolstering human health during long space missions, is being carried out by Jamie Foster, a doctorate from the University of Hawaii.

Foster is now the principal investigator for a NASA program that researches how microgravity affects interactions between animals and microbes.

“As astronauts spend more and more time in space, their immune systems become what’s called dysregulated. It doesn’t function as well. Their immune systems don’t recognize bacteria as easily. They sometimes get sick,” said Foster.

He added that understanding what happens to squids in space could help solve the health problems related to astronauts.

“If humans want to spend time on the moon or Mars, we have to solve health problems to get them there safely,” said Foster.

University of Hawaii professor Margaret McFall-Ngai, who Foster studied under, said that an astronaut's body relationship with microbes changes when they are in low gravity.

"We have found that the symbiosis of humans with their microbes is perturbed in microgravity, and Jamie has shown that is true in squid. And, because it’s a simple system, she can get to the bottom of what’s going wrong," said McFall-Ngai.

To understand this, it is important to know first that squids have a symbiotic relationship with natural bacteria that help regulate their bioluminescence, the light emitted by organisms such as glowworms and deep-sea fish.

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