Mice grown at Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor will be heading to the International Space Station in December. Dubbed JAX's Mighty Mice, these genetically engineered mice that lack myostatin and therefore display increased muscle mass will allow researchers to determine the effect of microgravity.

The study will help scientists understand not only how to prevent muscle and bone loss in astronauts during space flight — especially for those on longer missions, but it will also be tremendously valuable in understanding muscle degeneration in humans on Earth — for example, in elderly populations and those who are bed-ridden, people with rare diseases and those with conditions associated with muscle-wasting.

Se-Jin Lee, M.D., Ph.D. of JAX and UConn Health received a grant from the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space to conduct these experiments onboard the International Space Station (ISS) during the December 2019 - January 2020 mission.  The team includes scientists from The Jackson Laboratory, UConn School of Medicine, and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.