Jun 28, 2018

Building Bones: Testing a New Osteoporosis Therapy in Microgravity

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, space travel

Every three seconds, a person somewhere in the world breaks a bone due to osteoporosis—a progressive disease that decreases bone density, making bones weak and fragile. Osteoporotic fractures greatly reduce quality of life, and immobilization following a fracture can lead to further bone loss which puts these patients at risk for breaking another bone.

When SpaceX CRS-11 launched to the space station last June, it carried 40 mice to the ISS National Lab for a mission aimed at improving treatment for the millions of people with osteoporosis back on Earth. The Rodent Research (RR)-5 mission successfully proved the robustness of a new potential osteoporosis therapy based on a naturally produced protein, NELL-1, and also led to significant improvements in the delivery of the therapy.

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