London, Jan 14 (ANI): A new study has shown that foetus of a pregnant zebrafish in space like conditions develops cranial defects, raising the possibility of same effects in humans.
Tamara Franz-Odendaal at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Canada, said that changes in neural crest cells are responsible for triggering the abnormalities, reports New Scientist.
Franz-Odendaal and her student Sara Edsall placed fertilised zebrafish eggs inside a bioreactor to simulate space like conditions.
When the fish eggs hatched, the two found the branchial arches - bits of cartilage that support the gills and correspond to parts of the jaw in humans - appeared altered.
The results were replicated in adult fish too. However, the use of bioreactors in this experiment is not without doubts.
Kenneth Souza, a senior scientist at Dynamac Corporation, which assists NASA, says bioreactors poorly mimic conditions in space, pointing out that medaka fish bred in space in 1995 showed no abnormalities.
Edsall countered that the level of details in her study are a lot more than the earlier one. (ANI)