Biotechnology

More than one scientist would be praising not only the excellent efforts of the crew, who Ross and Dietrich said ''went far beyond the call of duty'', but also the fact that many of the experiments would not have been possible or nearly as successful without humans in attendance. The last major group of experiments on board USML-1 concerned biotechnology, the most important of which were the Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (GBA) and Astroculture. The former, housed in the Spacelab module, supported more than a hundred separate studies on biological samples ranging from molecules to small organisms.

One very significant experiment studied how collagen - the protein in the fibres of connective tissue, bones and cartilage - forms and how to artificially synthesise it.

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