In the 1980s, scientists from NASA and Martin Marietta tested strains of microalgae to determine their use as a food supply, oxygen source, and catalyst for waste disposal on long space missions. They discovered that the microalgae contained properties that astronauts and earth-dwellers alike could use as a nutritional supplement. This discovery fueled a spinoff from Martin Marietta, Martek Biosciences, whose continued research on microalgae led to the development of two nutritional supplements—life'sDHA and life'sARA. These omega-3 fatty acids are known to improve brain function and prevent cardiovascular disease. Many baby formulas and dairy products are fortified with them.
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