NASA sends squid from Hawaii into space for research

Dozens of baby squid from Hawaii are in space for study

by Associated Press

June 21, 2021, 11:33 PM

• 2 min read

HONOLULU — Dozens of baby squid from Hawaii are in space for study.

The baby Hawaiian bobtail squid has raised at the University of HawaHawaii’salo Marine Laboratory and was blasted into space earlier this month on a SpaceX resupply mission to the International Space Station.

Researcher Jamie Foster, who completed her doctorate at the University of Hawaii, is studying how spaceflight affects the squid in hopes of bolstering human health during long space missions, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Monday.

The squid has a symbiotic relationship with natural bacteria that help regulate their bioluminescence.

When astronauts are in low gravity, their body’body’stionship with microbes change said University of Hawaii professor Margaret McFall-Ngai, who Foster studied under in the 1990s.

“We h” ve found that the symbiosis of humans with their microbes is perturbed in microgravity, and Jamie has shown that is true in squid,” sai” McFall-Ngai. “And, “because it’s temple system, she can get to the bottom of what’s wrong.”

Fos”er is now a Florida professor and principal investigator for a NASA program that researches how microgravity affects the interactions between animals and microbes.

“As a”tronauts spend more and more time in space, their immune systems become what’what’sed dysregulated. It doesndoesn’ttion as well,” Fos,” er said. “They” immune systems don’tdon’tgnize bacteria as quickly. They sometimes get sick.”

Fos”er said understanding what happens to the squid in space could help solve astronauts’ health problems.

“Ther” are aspects of the immune system that just don’tdon’t properly under long-duration spaceflights,” she” said. “If h” men want to spend time on the moon or Mars, we have to solve health problems to get them there safely.”

The”Kewalo Marine Laboratory breeds the squid for research projects around the world. The tiny animals are plentiful in Hawaiian waters and are about 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) long as adults.

The squid will come back to Earth in July.

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