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Towards the establishment of a permanent colony of Drosophila in the International Space Station: hardware tests and adaptation of techniques.

ABSTRACT Our group has the long-term goal of establishing a permanent colony of Drosophila melanogaster in the International Space Station (ISS) to study its long-term adaptation to this unusual environment. We are currently building an enhanced version of an automatic cultivation unit (ESE1) in which we can grow flies with minimal crew involvement. We are working on a fixation unit as well. We are also adapting current protocols to maintain fixed animals during at least three months, the minimal refurbishment shuttle flight time, with minimal handling and maximal automatization, that can be used for inmuno-cytochemistry, ultrastructure or molecular experiments.

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