China to send pork sperm on space flight

Aug 11, 2005

The next manned space flight of China will carry capsules of pedigree pig sperm in a test that scientists hope will ultimately produce better quality pork.

The Shenzhou VI spacecraft will carry half an ounce of the sperm on its second mission, scheduled for October, to study whether exposure to outer space alters its genetic make-up, reported the Daily Telegraph Thursday.

"Exposed to micro-gravity, high levels of radiation and magnetic fields, the DNA of the sperm will genetically mutate," said Wang Jinyong, of the Chongqing Academy of Animal Husbandry. "There may be good and bad changes in the DNA -- our job is to keep the good changes and omit the bad so that we can improve the quality of the pig."

The sperm will be used to fertilize eggs and Wang will observe the extent of the mutation.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Mysterious molecules in space

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Huge waves measured for first time in Arctic Ocean

8 hours ago

As the climate warms and sea ice retreats, the North is changing. An ice-covered expanse now has a season of increasingly open water which is predicted to extend across the whole Arctic Ocean before the middle ...

Underwater elephants

8 hours ago

In the high-tech world of science, researchers sometimes need to get back to basics. UC Santa Barbara's Douglas McCauley did just that to study the impacts of the bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum) on cor ...

Recommended for you

Astronomers measure weight of galaxies, expansion of universe

7 hours ago

Astronomers at the University of British Columbia have collaborated with international researchers to calculate the precise mass of the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies, dispelling the notion that the two galaxies have similar ...

Mysterious molecules in space

18 hours ago

Over the vast, empty reaches of interstellar space, countless small molecules tumble quietly though the cold vacuum. Forged in the fusion furnaces of ancient stars and ejected into space when those stars ...

User comments : 0