Sign in: Staff/Students
After lifting off just before Christmas, the University of Liverpool’s MicroAge experiment is safely up and running on the International Space Station.
Supported by the UK Space Agency, the project is using microgravity to understand what happens to human muscles as we age, and why.
When astronauts spend time in space their muscles get weaker, just as they do in older age. By studying what happens to muscle tissue in microgravity, the team can compare the findings to what happens on Earth. This will help the solve the puzzle of why muscles get weaker as we age and find possible ways to prevent it.
Fantastic footage shows European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer unpacking and installing the MicroAge experiment, which was launched to the ISS in a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center on 21 December.
Matthias can be seen sorting muscle cell containers, which contain synthetic muscle cells the size of a grain of rice, inside the Space Station’s Kubik minilab for incubation at 37°C.
The 24 blue containers are decorated with different ‘mission badges’ designed by children as part of a MicroAge competition.
Some of the muscles will be electrically stimulated to ‘exercise’ while others will be exposed to increased amounts of protective heat shock proteins, which the Liverpool team have previously shown provide protection against age-related muscle wasting.
At the end of the experiment the muscles will be frozen ready for their return to earth, and further analysis, later this month.
Download the official MicroAge App (Apple and android) for timely updates, links to helpful information, podcasts, activity packs and information on healthy ageing, exercise and more.
Follow the MicroAge team’s exciting journey on Twitter @MicroAgeUoL
Tune into the latest episode of the Scouse Science Podcast to hear more about the project from Professor Anne McArdle.
All recent news
University collaborates on flagship Mental Health Analytics and Research hub
Feel Good February: Find out what’s on this week
The Pandemic Institute partners with Aviva to fund vital COVID-19 recovery research
Ean Flanders photography exhibition opens at VG&M
Doctor receives prestigious award for IVF research
On Friday 10th Feb, @UoLManSchool, in collaboration with @LpoolCityRegion Growth Platform, are hosting a free online webinar with Senior @bankofengland #economist Ryland Thomas to discuss the UK economy.
All are welcome, read more here 👉https://news.liverpool.ac.uk/2023/01/27/management-school-to-host-online-business-brunch-with-senior-bank-of-england-economist/
From @IrishInstitute and @LivUniEnglish Dr Eleanor Lybeck @NellLybeck has written for @ConversationUK about the use of the #circus as a political metaphor. 🤡🎪
Read the article in full here 👉https://theconversation.com/how-the-circus-became-the-metaphor-of-choice-in-political-rhetoric-197973
The authors of a new report (inc @livuni Prof David Taylor-Robinson) have warned that rising living costs will lead to immediate and lifelong harms for children in the North of England and have called on government to act now #ChildoftheNorth