Mayo Clinic sends stem cell samples into space - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Mayo Clinic sends stem cell samples into space

Courtesy: NASA Courtesy: NASA

Stem cells from a Mayo Clinic research lab are heading to space.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket successfully blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida Sunday morning. It was the first time a private space firm launched a rocket from a NASA facility.

The rocket carried the Dragon spacecraft into orbit, which will then bring supplies to the International Space Station. Among the 5,000-plus pounds of cargo are donated adult stem cell samples from a lab at Mayo Clinic's Jacksonville, Fla. campus.

Doctors hope to learn if stem cells can be mass-produced more quickly in microgravity, according to Mayo Clinic. The cells can then be used to treat strokes.

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