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Zebrafish on China's space station reported to be in good condition
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Zebrafish on China's space station reported to be in good condition
by Simon Mansfield
Sydney, Australia (SPX) May 21, 2024

The four zebrafish aboard China's Tiangong space station, orbiting about 400 km above Earth, are in good condition, according to experts from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

Experts shared updates on China's first in-orbit aquatic ecological research project at a public science day event in Beijing.

On April 25, four zebrafish and four grams of goldfish algae were sent into space with the three astronauts aboard the Shenzhou-18 manned spacecraft. This mission aims to establish a self-sustaining aquatic ecosystem in orbit, marking a significant development in the study of vertebrate life in space.

Zheng Weibo, a researcher at the Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics of the CAS, reported that astronauts have collected water samples twice and replaced the fish food box once. They observed that the zebrafish exhibited directional behavior anomalies, such as inverted swimming and rotary movement, in the microgravity environment of Tiangong.

Scientists will use samples, including water and fish eggs, to study the impact of the space environment on vertebrate growth, development, and behavior, as well as the material cycle in confined ecosystems, Zheng said.

Wang Gaohong, a researcher at the Institute of Hydrobiology of the CAS, noted that zebrafish, due to their genetic similarity to humans, serve as a model for researching many human diseases. "Meanwhile, like astronauts, zebrafish need to pass through rounds of selection to become 'aquastronauts,'" Wang added.

Based on a Xinhua News Agency article

Related Links
Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics
The Chinese Space Program - News, Policy and Technology
China News from SinoDaily.com

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