Toronto Students Send Worms To Space And Become Published Scientists – The Effects Of Low Gravity On Muscle Deterioration


A group of young Toronto scientists had a more than an interesting school project. We’re referring at four students who were in grades 8 to 12 when they first proposed shooting a tube of microscopic worms into orbit.

The target of the experiment was to study the effects of low gravity on muscle deterioration.

At the moment, all the young women are published scientists after their experiment’s findings have been featured in the academic journal Gravitational Space Research.

It’s a bit funny because some researchers spend years after years working to conduct an experiment in space and this group of young scientists made it so far.

“I would never have thought in Grade 8 that I would be doing something so meaningful with science,” Annabel Gravely, who is now 16 years old said in a recent interview.

“The nature of science, it’s all about the obstacles. What’s really cool about the process is learning different ways to get around those obstacles.”

Here’s how it all began

Everything began four years ago when a teacher at the University of Toronto Schools put out a call for entries in a student competition in order to send an experiment to the International Space Station.

Gravely was quite overwhelmed by the possibilities of space-bound study and she said that she wanted her proposal to be a meaningful one, so she decided to study the neural disease that led to her grandfather’s death a few years before.

She drew a connection between the disease and the muscle loss that affects astronauts after they spend more time in space and they become weaker because their bodies are not working against gravity.

The research discovered that the space worms were longer and thicker than their Earthbound counterparts and they also survived for 69 days with limited oxygen and nutrients which is a novel discovery.


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