NASA is conducting experiments on blood cells aboard the International Space Station (ISS) in a quest to find improved cancer treatments.
In a video released by the US space agency, astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor is seen conducting research operations inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) for the Angiex Cancer Therapy study.
Aunon-Chancellor reached the space station earlier this year and will spend the next few months conducting experiments on endothelial cells that line the surface of blood vessels.
According to NASA, endothelial cells housed within culture dishes in microgravity perform as if they were in blood vessels within a living organism on Earth.
Due to this, the orbiting cells behave more like they normally do inside the body, cancer researchers can more accurately test the cells for chemotherapy responses, 'Space.com' reported.
Several containers on board the ISS currently host the cells as they undergo varying amounts of chemotherapy exposure. The study may lead to new testing models for researchers.
In the video, Aunon-Chancellor said the flat endothelial containers feel "all nice and warm and comfortable," because they are kept at body temperature aboard the space lab.
"We've had them for almost two months now up here in ISS. We feed them. We give them nutrients -- they are like miniature crewmembers living with us," she said.
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