NASA Levitates Mice With Magnetic Fields
Apparently not content with pigeons, researchers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California have successfully used magnetic fields to introduce yet another species of filthy vermin to our skies. According to LiveScience, the secret lies in a superconducting magnet that so strongly attracts a living body's water content that the body itself will actually float. The mice apparently levitate in comfy, climate-controlled cages. In time, the mice grow accustomed to the microgravity -- eating, drinking and being filthy just as they normally would. The study is intended to give scientists a better understanding of bone loss in astronauts.
Aside from our obvious concerns with flocks of futuristic, flying varmints, we have to wonder, in the spirit of the times, if this isn't a big old waste of money. Just over a week ago, we reported that scientists had brought mice aboard the International Space Station in order to perform a study on the exact same thing. Granted, that venture is sponsored by the Italian Space Agency. But couldn't we all be happy collaborating our efforts, and certainly our money, on these kinds of things? Last we checked, we weren't exactly swimming in excess over here, and Italy wasn't keeping its confidential rodent files from us. [From: LiveScience, via Neatorama]