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How does space tinker with your ticker?


Human heart cells, beating away on the space station for a month, will provide insights into the molecular and cellular effects of microgravity.



This video from NASA shows a time-lapse of heart cells
beating in the microgravity of the international space stating.

The cells – called cardiomyocytes – were derived from stem cells, which in turn came from skin cells.

NASA astronaut Kate Rubens used a microscope to keep a close eye on them before they were returned to Earth in August.

Results will show how cardiomyocytes change on a cellular and molecular level in space, improving understanding of microgravity’s negative effects for astronauts on long missions down the track.

Anthea Batsakis is a freelance journalist in Melbourne, Australia.
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