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Space Lab Contest Picks Experiments Featuring Spiders and Bacteria

A zebra spider spins no webs, but instead catches its prey by leaping onto it. But in space, a zebra spider would zip off in a straight line instead of a trajectory curved by gravity, missing its target.

Amr Mohamed, an 18-year-old student from Alexandria, Egypt, wondered if the spider could learn and adjust.

“If they can catch their prey in microgravity, it’s going to be evolutionary,” Mr. Mohamed said, “because it’s going to be the first time in history that an animal changes and adapts its hunting way to the zero-gravity environment.”

Soon he, and the rest of the world, will find out.

Mr. Mohamed’s idea is one of the two global winners of Space Lab, a competition run by YouTube, Google’s video site; Lenovo, the computer manufacturer; and Space Adventures, a space tourism company. Students ages 14 to 18 from around the world were invited to make videos pitching a science experiment to be conducted on the International Space Station.

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