JAX® Mice headed for space

Date: April 5, 2010
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Bar Harbor, Maine -- JAX® Mice from The Jackson Laboratory are part of the current Space Shuttle crew. Following a successful liftoff this morning, the Space Shuttle Discovery includes an experiment to help scientists understand the long-term effects of space environment on the immune system’s ability to fight infection.

The 16 mice are from a strain of mouse used in transplantation studies and immunology research (scientific name: B6.SJL-Ptprca Pepcb/BoyJ). They were transported to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in January to acclimate them to the "NASA bars" Shuttle diet, which is formulated to prevent its floating while in zero gravity.

Dr. Millie Hughes-Fulford, a San Francisco scientist who has flown a Space Shuttle mission in 1984, designed the experiment. According to a San Francisco Chronicle article about the experiment, "the 16 mice aboard the space station will do nothing but live comfortably in what NASA calls 'Animal Enclosure Modules' and be monitored by the station's astronaut crew."

Details about this and other experiments on Discovery's 13-day mission are available on NASA's website.

The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution based in Bar Harbor, Maine, with a facility in Sacramento, Calif. Its mission is to discover the genetic basis for preventing, treating and curing human diseases, and to enable research and education for the global biomedical community.

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Contact(s): Joyce Peterson, 207-288-6058

For information on automatic email delivery of news releases (journalists only), please send an email request for details to news@jax.org. Please address other inquiries to pubinfo@jax.org.

Media Relations, Communications Office
The Jackson Laboratory
600 Main Street
Bar Harbor, Maine 04609-1500
Phone: 207-288-6058 (journalists only)
Main Jackson Laboratory phone: 207-288-6000
Fax: 207-288-6076
Email: news@jax.org