How to Sequence DNA in Space

“You’re tending to the cells—you have to change the media [in the #cell culture], you have to resupply them with nutrients”, says Kate Rubins, the first person to carry out an experiment in microgravity.

The International Space Station is one big research laboratory. Its earliest research objectives, back in 2000, were pretty straightforward: keep humans alive. Since then, the number of experiments conducted aboard the station has ballooned, and astronauts and cosmonauts spend their days studying how terrestrial science and technology works in microgravity. Over the years, the station’s residents have grown zucchini, beheaded flatworms, maneuvered humanoid robots, tended to mouse embryos, watched the muscles of zebrafish atrophy, and drawn their own blood, using their own bodies as test subjects. Scrolling through NASA’s full list of experiments, one gets the sense that almost any experiment that can be done in a lab on Earth can be replicated in one floating 200 miles above.
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