Updated Wed, Jul 30, 2014 3:27 pm
A Marshall University faculty member is conducting NASA research that's aimed at better understanding how microgravity will impact crew members on extended missions.
The Huntington school says Kumika Toma of the Marshall University College of Health Professions is using rats to examine the long-term exposure to microgravity.
Toma is the program director for the undergraduate exercise science program in the college's School of Kinesiology.
Officials say the study will look at sex and age differences in skeletal muscle responses to weakness and recovery.
In addition to helping NASA, the study also will help with the knowledge on the loss of function that so many experience when illness or disability restricts activity.
Because microgravity is the example of extreme disuse, the results will be applicable to anyone who's sedentary or bedridden.