June 7th, 2012
03:30 PM ET

Can jumping spiders kill in space? Student's experiment set for orbit

By Jon Jensen and Rima Maktabi, CNN
Editor's note: Each month, Inside the Middle East takes you behind the headlines to see a different side of this diverse region.

Alexandria, Egypt (CNN) - Can jumping spiders still hunt for their prey in space?

It may sound like science fiction or the start of a bad joke, but this is an experiment that will be carried out on the International Space Station later this year, thanks to Egyptian teenager Amr Mohamed.

Mohamed, 19, from Alexandria, came up with one of the two winning entries from around the world for the YouTube Space Lab competition, backed by Professor Stephen Hawking, which asked students to design experiments for space scientists.

The idea behind Mohamed's experiment is to study how the zebra spider, which jumps on its prey rather than building a web, will hunt when it is in zero gravity.

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