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Biol Sci Space. 2004 Nov;18(3):138-9.

Ten years after medaka fish mated and laid eggs in space and further preparation for the life-cycle experiment on ISS.

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  • 1Radioisotope Center, University of Tokyo, Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan.


In the second International Microgravity Laboratory (IML-2/STS-65) mission in 1994, medaka fish (Oryzias latipes) performed their successful mating behavior in space for the first time among vertebrate animals. The eggs the fish laid in space developed normally, and hatched as fry (baby fish) in space. Those fry born in space had the same number of germ cells as the ground control fish, and these germ cells later developed to produce the offspring on the ground. Fry hatched in space did not exhibit any looping behavior regardless of their strain, visual acuity, etc. For fish, one of the most exciting experiments to be done abroad the International Space Station (ISS) is a realization of fish life cycles in microgravity. At present, fish are the most likely candidates to be the first vertebrate to live their life cycle in space. Research done in our laboratory for realizing the life-cycle experiment of medaka fish are also introduced.

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