It's different up there

So nano is different but so is space. Space or more likely microgravity changes a lot of things in addition to drinking and eating and walking around. Scientists have done a lot of experiments in space looking at how cells behave. With more sophisticated tools to study the molecular changes scientists are now discovering just how different things in space are for terrestrial biology. The latest work is using stem cells, those interesting cells in your body that have the ability to form different tissues and bone. They are really important for a lot of therapies to cure diseases such as cancer, diabetes and other stuff. Taking a bit of mouse stem cells into space, scientists discovered that about 64% of the proteins that these cells made in space weren't there when the same cells were grown on the Earth. That is a nanometer kind of change since most proteins are a few nanometers across.  Stem cells are around 10,000 nanometers in size.  One of the scientists, Elizabeth Blaber talked about this work in Houston, Texas at the astrobiology conference. She is a young scientist at the University of New South Wales in Australia working in a field she calls bioastronautics.  Going from Australia to Texas (about 14 trillion nanometers) isn't quite like going into space but a neat opportunity for a young scientist.