University uses space travel to study muscular dystrophy

Scientists will look to space to find better treatments for people with muscle wasting diseases.

The University of Exeter revealed that it will send small worm-like creatures into the upper atmosphere to reveal how muscle loss affects the body.

In space, astronauts can lose about 40 per cent of muscle mass in 180 days, making it the perfect environment to study muscle wastage.

The researchers hope the study will help people with conditions such as muscular dystrophy.

By studying the worms, which have muscle structures similar to humans, the scientists will be able to observe significant muscles changes in human physiology.

Colleen Deane, a researcher at the University of Exeter, said: “When they return to Earth astronauts are unable to be as mobile and they have to undergo heavy rehabilitation programmes.

“Because it’s a good model for human muscle, we’re sending worms up to space and looking at the changes and the effects of space flight on their muscles.”

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