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Lexington-based 'Space Tango' does out-of-this-world research on Parkinson's and MS

'Space Tango' does out-of-this-world research on Parkinson's and MS
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Posted at 6:18 PM, Aug 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-05 18:19:27-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — This SpaceX rocket launched from Cape Canaveral in July with some incredibly precious cargo.

Researcher Dr. Jeanne Loring's stem cells were onboard and headed for the International Space Station.

They will be used to conduct research on Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis.

"Sometimes you get a chance to do something fundamentally different from anything that's been done before and every time I get a chance like that I just say yes," Loring said.

In order to transport her cells safely to space, they were housed inside hardware called a Cube Lab.

It's essentially an automated laboratory where experiments on the cells are conducted.

It was designed and developed by Lexington-based company, Space Tango.

"We're really proud of that," Space Tango CEO and University of Kentucky grad, Twyman Clements, said. "This really spun out of the University of Kentucky so it's really great to see obviously one of the keystones of the community transition into private enterprise."

While in space, researchers will observe cells interacting in microgravity, which is something that is impossible on Earth.

"What we hope to find is the point at which things start to go wrong in those diseases so that you can intervene with a new cell or drug therapy that can stop those diseases from progressing," National Stem Cell Foundation CEO, Dr. Paula Grisanti, said.

NSCF is a Louisville-based organization.

Grisanti said the cells are scheduled to splash down in mid-August and that they'll do more flights until they find the answer they're looking for.