TOKYO (JAXA PR) — Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd. (President: Takashige Negishi; hereinafter referred to as “Yakult”) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (President: Naoki Okumura; hereinafter referred to as “JAXA”) today announced that the two parties reached an agreement to start a joint research in the International Space Station (hereinafter referred to as “ISS”) from April 2014.
1. Name of the joint research
Study of the effect by probiotics on human immune function and gut microbiota in a microgravity environment
2. The period of the joint research
From 2014 to 2020 (provisional)
3. Significance of the joint research
To contribute to the health care of astronauts and the development of life science in the coming space age by scientifically studying the effect by probiotics on human immune function and gut microbiota of astronauts, who stay in space for long periods. It is also aimed at making contributions to promote people’s health in general by utilizing the knowledge thus gained in the joint research for development of probiotics research on the ground.
4. Key research items
(1) Scientific study of Study of the effect by probiotics on human immune function and gut microbiota in a microgravity environment in a confined microgravity environment (space)
(2) Assessing the on-board safety, operability of live bacteria (Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota) and acquisition of related technical knowledge