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Mouseneto: Variable Gravity Simulator Successfully Levitates Mice

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Scientists working for NASA have built a “variable gravity simulator” powerful enough to levitate drops of water up to 2 inches wide, and even young mice. The device is made of a “superconducting magnet that generates a field powerful enough to levitate the water inside living animals.” I don’t know how the magnet can levitate water and not just metallic substances, so don’t ask me okay? Ask physicists Yuanming Liu of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California¬†and Da-Ming Zhu from the University of Missouri, Kansas City.


The images above are of the first ever mouse that was made to float by the variable gravity simulator. The mouse apparently panicked, so the next mouse to float was sedated, and it “seemed content with floating.” Uhuh. Anyway I don’t know if the pics were shot from above or from below; either way the view’s kind of a letdown because you can’t really see that the little fella is floating. But what’s important is…Variable Gravity Simulator! Man what an awesome combination of words. The point of the device – and the mice – is to study the long term effects of gravity on humans. But I hope that we can build larger and stronger VGSes so us common people can try what these lucky mice are enjoying.

[LiveScience via Neatorama]