Freeze-Dried Space Jizz Could Save Us All

A new study found that mouse sperm freeze-dried and sent to space for nine months can still be used to make healthy babies back on Earth.

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May 23 2017, 7:30pm

Photos of space and mouse via Pexels and Wikimedia Commons, respectively

Now that scientists believe we're hurtling toward the apocalypse at a terrifying speed, it's never been a better time to figure out what the hell we're going to do once our planet inevidably collapses. Luckily, some researchers over in Japan took it upon themselves to launch some sperm into space to find out whether or not we have a chance at successfully reproducing once everyone relocates to Elon Musk's Mars colony or whatever.

According to the BBC, the team of scientists from the University of Yamanashi sent freeze-dried mouse sperm to the International Space Station (ISS) back in 2013, storing it there at below-freezing temperatures for nine months. It was then sent back to our planet to be used in in-vitro fertilization with mice, along with some freeze-dried sperm researchers kept on Earth under the same conditions.

In a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (or PNAS), the researchers revealed that the space spunk was still capable of making healthy mice babies. Although the DNA did sustain a little damage from the high radiation levels out in space, the offspring still turned out OK. Some were even able to make babies of their own.

It's a potentially promising sign for humans, who might want to use in-vitro fertilization to reproduce beyond Earth—say, after a long trip to Mars. But since the mice were impregnated and born on our planet, we still don't know what kind of effects zero-gravity has on a developing fetus. The effects of radiation on the sperm could also be greater during a longer trip, or one that ventures further from Earth's protective magnetic field.

"Given the nine month gestation for humans, the pregnant mother would also need to be protected by such a facility," NASA-supported psychologist Joseph Tash told the BBC. "So it presents very real habitat, medical, social, and psychological questions that need to be addressed as well."

It's important to note that we're still several studies away from truly learning how to make babies in space. Seeing if the mice could actually get it on up there, what happens to their embryos without gravity, and ultimately testing all of that out on humans would offer greater insights on the process.

Until then, Earthlings who want to experience space sex will just have to settle for laying alien eggs inside themselves with the help of a nifty sex toy called the Ovipositor.

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