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Researchers to study fruit flies in space in 2016

February 13, 2015, 19:30 UTC+3 YEKATERINBURG
The research is aimed at working out mechanisms for astronauts’ protection from unfavourable factors in future interplanetary flights
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© AP Photo/Indiana University, Kevin Cook

YEKATERINBURG, February 13. /TASS/. Researchers will continue to study drosophilae, or fruit flies, in outer space in 2016.

The research is aimed at working out mechanisms for astronauts’ protection from unfavourable factors in future interplanetary flights, said Dr. Sc. (Physics and Mathematics) Irina Ogneva, the lead researcher at the Biomedical Problems Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

"This year we are not planning to send fruit flies to space," Ogneva told TASS on Friday. "We received enough material for research on Earth. And so the next experiment is to be carried out next year."

Fruit flies have become a target of experiments in space last year.

The second generation of ‘space’ flies was bred on the Foton-M satellite along with the third generation of maggots, which spent 44.5 days in space.

At the end of last October the fourth generation of fruit flies lifted off aboard a spaceship and after living 12 days at the International Space Station /ISS/ gave birth to the fifth generation of space maggots.

"The research will allow us to study processes of propagation of living species in the condition of zero gravity and to understand the processes when negative tendencies affect them at a cell level," Ogneva said.

"Cosmic radiation remains the main factor behind the frequency of mutations," she said. "Besides, living specimens are exposed to weightlessness, vibration and electromagnetic radiation among other factors. That’s why fruit flies are unique objectives for research.".

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