Rapid bone loss during spaceflight is a well-established and continuing medical issue for astronauts. It has been reported that astronauts have displayed bone loss at rates of up to 2.7%/month in weight-bearing bones, or about 6 times that of post-menopausal women [1]. Rodent models have provided a means to further our understanding of the effects of microgravity on bone quality, both from studies in which rodents have flown aboard space missions and those in which weightlessness is simulated on earth through musculoskeletal unloading [2]. Such studies have the potential to not only further our understanding of the cause of decreased bone integrity in space, but also provide an accelerated model for the study of osteo-degenerative diseases affecting the general public, leading to improved treatment methods for both spaceflight and age or illness related osteoporosis.

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