A Mayo Clinic research has been awarded a $300,000 dollar grant for a project that involves growing human cells in space.Dr. Abba Zubair plans to send stem cells to the International Space Station to determine if they grow more rapidly in that environment than they do on Earth.

Zubair believes the space-grown cells could help patients recover from strokes, and that it may even be possible to generate human tissues and organs in space.

"On Earth, we face many challenges in trying to grow enough stem cells to treat patients," he says. "It now takes a month to generate enough cells for a few patients. A clinical-grade laboratory in space could provide the answer we all have been seeking for regenerative medicine."

Dr. Zubair says the experiment will be the first one Mayo Clinic has conducted in space and the first to use these human stem cells, which are found in bone marrow.

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