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19 Jun, 2019 12:17

‘No cosmonauts want to’: Scientists struggle for semen samples from space

‘No cosmonauts want to’: Scientists struggle for semen samples from space

A study by Russian scientists to examine the effects of space exploration on human sperm production has hit an unforeseen snag – cosmonauts are refusing to collect the necessary material.

The question of mankind’s ability to safely navigate space and survive longer exploratory missions without serious long-term health implications is at the heart of ongoing research into broadening our knowledge away from our home planet.

However, the effects of space travel on one key component in the creation of human life is likely to continue a mystery for the time being, as Russian cosmonauts are refusing to collect semen samples during their space missions.

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Irina Ogneva, head of the cell biophysics laboratory at the Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told RIA Novosti that her team wants to study spermatogenesis in astronauts before, during and after their spaceflights – and it’s the ‘during’ leg of the voyage that’s presenting the problem.

The prospect of obtaining the samples in space mission conditions “causes everyone to smile and reject,” Ogneva explained, adding: “There are no cosmonauts who want to.”

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