Monday, 05 Jan, 2009 Science

Zero Gravity May Hold Back Human Growth, Scientists Say


A new study claims that zero gravity may hold back human growth. Scientists performed an experiment on newts.

Together with his team, Eduardo Almeida of NASA's Ames Research Center, based in Mountain View, California, amputated the tails 16 Pleurodeles waltls. Afterwards the animals were sent into space.

It was discovered that though the tails did regenerate (which is common for lizards), they were less than half the length of normal newt's tails.

"This is important evidence that regeneration does not occur at a normal rate in space," says the lead researcher. Almeida presented the results of the research at the American Society for Cell Biology meeting, which was held in San Francisco in December 2008.

The scientist considers that the gravity turns on signals that inform cells to divide. Almeida believes that the finding should be taken into consideration when thinking about life in space.

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