Space shuttle Endeavour returned to Earth on Wednesday with an Israeli experiment that looks into the sources of life and why people age.

The experiment, reported for the first time by Israel Radio, is under the guidance of Dr. Eran Schenker of the Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies in Herzliya.

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Researchers sent cultures of mammalian cells on the space shuttle and will compare the rate of decay of the cells in space with the rate of decay on Earth.

A previous experiment conducted during the same Endeavour mission in mid-May involved a test on adult stem cells to study the influences of weightlessness on bone cells and resultant osteoporosis, an experiment that was to have been performed by Israeli astronaut Col. Ilan Ramon on the ill-fated space shuttle Columbia in 2003.

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