Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

The International Space Station over Earth. Photo: NASA via Getty Images

Genetically enhanced mice retained or increased muscle mass after spending a month on the International Space Station.

Why it matters: The findings of the study, published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest that muscle and bone loss could be mitigated for astronauts on space flights as well as for people on Earth who experience muscle degeneration.

What they did: The nonprofit Jackson Laboratory provided 40 black, female mice that were placed on a SpaceX rocket that traveled to the space station for the "Rodent Research-19" experiment.

What they found: 24 mice that were left untreated experienced muscle and bone mass loss of up to 18%.

  • But eight "mighty mice" lost none of their brawn after being modified to lack the protein myostatin, which blocks a molecular signaling pathway.
  • The muscles increased noticeably in eight other mice given the "mighty mouse" treatment in space after they returned to Earth in a SpaceX Dragon capsule on Jan. 7.

What they're saying: Lead researcher Se-Jin Lee, of the Jackson Laboratory, and wife Emily Germain-Lee, of Connecticut Children's Medical Center, who also took part in the study, told AP the results were encouraging.

  • But Germain-Lee added researchers were "years away" from testing the drug in people without concerns about "serious side effects."
  • Lee said they were looking at possibly sending more "mighty mice" to space for a longer duration.

Of note: NASA astronauts Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir and Christina Koch — who made history with the first female spacewalk last October — cared for the mice on the ISS, and they're listed as study co-authors.

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Nov 24, 2020 - Science

Space is outgrowing its billionaires

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The space industry is outgrowing the billionaires who made it famous.

Why it matters: Billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson helped put the space industry on the map, but today, a significant amount of growth seen in the industry is propelled by smaller companies.

13 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Congressional Hispanics want Lujan Grisham at HHS

Michelle Lujan Grisham arriving on Capitol Hill. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Hispanic lawmakers are openly lobbying to have New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham be named Health and Human Services secretary, according to a letter obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: These members are now following the example some Black lawmakers have used for weeks: trying to convince Joe Biden his political interests will be served by rewarding certain demographic groups with Cabinet picks.

3 hours ago - World

Map: A look at world population density in 3D

This fascinating map is made by Alasdair Rae of Sheffield, England, a former professor of urban studies who is the founder of Automatic Knowledge. It shows world population density in 3D.

Details: "No land is shown on the map, only the locations where people actually live. ... The higher the spike, the more people live in an area. Where there are no spikes, there are no people (e.g. you can clearly identify ... the Sahara Desert)."