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News From the Field

Study finds that gravity, 'mechanical loading' are key to cartilage development


August 22, 2017

Mechanical loading is required for creating cartilage that is then turned to bone; however, little is known about cartilage development in the absence of gravity. Now, in a study led by the University of Missouri, bioengineers have determined that microgravity may inhibit cartilage formation. Findings reveal that fracture healing for astronauts in space, as well as patients on bed rest here on Earth, could be compromised in the absence of mechanical loading. Full Story

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University of Missouri-Columbia

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2017, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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