International space station in orbit of the Earth. (Photo: NASA)
TOKYO: Mouse experiments on the International Space Station have shown a protein inside has the ability to help slow down the aging process, according to a joint study by the Japan Space Exploration Agency and Tohoku University. .
Once in space, the rats underwent biological changes similar to aging, just rapid transitions and proteins ̵1; known as the erythroid factor 2, or Nrf2, nuclear factor. was part of the transformation slowed down, JAXA said.
A team of scientists from space agencies and universities hope the discovery will pave the way for the development of drugs that treat a variety of age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, dementia. and diabetes.
Scientists also expect this finding to help develop treatments to reduce health risks associated with space travel. In the context of microgravity and radiation more intense on the ground, spacecraft are known to cause many aging-like physical impairments including loss of bone density and muscle mass.
According to the study, 12 rats spent 31 days in the Japanese Kibo science module on the space station, after being transported there on a SpaceX Falcon rocket in the spring of 2018.
Of the 12 “space mice,” half were genetically engineered to lack Nrf2, a regulator known to turn on and off stress protection, while the other half has yet to be modified.