Mouse sperm survive in space.

Science News reports that DNA is tough stuff, and reproductive cells that were freeze-dried and subjected to months of solar radiation came back home just fine:

If humans ever embark on long-term space flights, we’ll need a way to reproduce. One potential hurdle (beyond the logistical challenges of microgravity) is the high amount of solar radiation in space — it’s 100 times more powerful on the International Space Station than on Earth. Those doses might cause damaging genetic mutations in banked eggs and sperm.

To test this, Japanese researchers freeze-dried mouse sperm and sent it up to the ISS, where it spent nine months orbiting the Earth in microgravity. When rehydrated back on Earth, the space sperm did show some evidence of DNA damage compared with earthly sperm, the scientists found.

But when researchers used that sperm to fertilize eggs in the lab that were then injected into female mice, the mice birthed pups at a normal rate.

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