A team of scientists sent a group of mice into space in 2018 from the International Space Station and when they returned to Earth, the animals showed better tolerance to stress and fewer signs of aging.

The original study, from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Tohoku University, sought investigate the effects of the protein Nrf2 in matters such as cancer and other diseases. Half of the 12 mice sent into space were modified to lack this protein, while the other half kept it.

The research found that those rodents without the Nrf2 protein showed fewer signs of aging than their peers in the other group. This is in addition to previous studies that showed that when a human being is in space, he ages faster, as did mice with the protein in their bodies.

Now, the study developers will begin new research on how the protein Nrf2 can affect the aging process in humans and what treatments can be carried out with this data to help treat incurable and inherited diseases.