Biologists find microgravity conditions are optimal for cancer research.
Cancer researchers looking for a breakthrough might want to relocate to the International Space Station. Biologists have found that microgravity research and other space-based experiments provide greater insight into abnormal cell behavior.
In Earth-bound labs, cells grow flat, unable to fully mimic the three-dimensional architecture shaped by proteins and carbohydrates of a working human organ. This gap provides an obstacle for scientists studying changes in cell growth and development.
In space, cells clump together easily, arranging themselves into three-dimensional groupings that better replicate cell activity. They also experience less fluid shear stress, a type of disturbance that affects their behavior outside of the body.