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WDEL's Delaware Stories
with Mellany Armstrong


Worms in Space!

Photo courtesy of University of Delaware
Worms in space! A Delaware researcher is making it happen.

Dr. Chandran Sabanayagam of the Delaware Biotechnology Institute is taking "very brave, very smart, very cute little worms...." and is turning them into astronauts.

"And the idea is to be able to put model organisms on this satellite, and watch how they adapt to, essentially, a weightless environment," he said.

NASA gave him money to study the worms in space.

"I am trying to take a microscope that we use to look at cells in biology and to put it into a very compact form factor about the size of a loaf of bread, and then to shoot it into space and have it orbit the earth," he said.

Sabanayagam says his research could lead to finding out ways to safely send humans deep into space.

"When we leave the earth, the question is how does that change environment, how will it affect biological processes," he said.



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