Capsule returns safely after 12-day odyssey
Updated: 2016-04-19 07:34
By Cheng Yingqi(China Daily)
Scientific personnels work at the landing area of the re-entry capsule of China's first retrievable microgravity satellite SJ-10 in Siziwang Banner, North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region, April 18, 2016.[Photo/Xinhua]
Experiments conducted on SJ-10
Silkworm embryos were taken into space for a biology experiment designed to observe the embryos' genetic reaction to cosmic radiation. Although silkworm embryos had been observed in previous research, there was not enough data to know if genetic mutations occurred at different stages of development. This time the researchers divided the embryos into six groups, so that one group stopped developing every two days, providing a better picture of the mutation process over time.
An experiment using 6,000 mouse embryos to measure the effect of a gravity-free environment on living organisms found that some of the embryos completed the full development process into blastocysts－a cluster of cells that can be implanted into a womb. It is the first evidence in human history that early-stage mammal embryos can develop in space.
Human stem cells are being used for experiments in cell differentiation as part of the satellite's biotechnology research. Stem cells can differentiate into specialized cells and also produce more stem cells. They are considered a key source for regenerative medicine. The SJ-10 carried experiments on cell cultures of hematopoietic stem cells and neural stem cells, and explored the differentiation mechanism of human bone stem cells.