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A Researcher’s Guide to: Rodent Research

A Researcher’s Guide to: Rodent Research

March 2015 Edition

By Richard Mains
Patricia Larenas
Michelle Hing

Rodents, specifically rats and mice, are the animal models most commonly used to study fundamental biological processes in space. NASA is particularly interested in studies that enable a better understanding of how mechanisms governing homeostasis at the genetic, molecular and cellular levels are integrated to regulate adaptation to spaceflight at the physiological system or whole-animal level.

Studies with rodents in space have been useful and important for extrapolating the implications for humans living in space. Rodent research on ISS must be reviewed and approved by the NASA Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). The IACUC assures that all animal research conducted in spaceflight meets the requirements of all applicable federal regulations and that a comprehensive review of benefits and risks has been completed.

This Researcher’s Guide describes the context for Rodent Research, summarizes past rodent research and details available habitat facilities. The process for developing and flying rodent research, lessons learned as well as funding opportunities and points of contact are also provided.

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