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Tiny Exeter-grown worms to blast off into space

BBC Spotlight

Nematodes
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Thousands of microscopic worms grown at the University of Exeter are due to blast off in a space rocket today for research into the human ageing process.

The multi-million pound project is the first UK-led experiment to the International Space Station.

Scientists from Exeter say the 36,000 nematodes will spend a week in an incubator before they die and then will be frozen and examined on their return to earth.

The worms are being used because they have a similar muscle structure to humans.

Researchers hope studying them could help people with conditions including muscular dystrophy and diabetes.

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