Time in Space Transforms Gene Expression, NASA Says

BAIKONUR KAZAKHSTAN- MARCH 26 Expedition 43 NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly left and his identical twin brother Mark Kelly pose for

If Kelly's base DNA sequence did actually change by 7 percent, the results would be. less than ideal. It revealed that seven percent of Scott's genetic expression changed compared to Mark's after his stint in space. So far, researchers have identified some changes to astronaut Scott Kelly's telomeres, among other things, helping scientists understand the kind of health ramifications space travelers face. Mark remained grounded during Scott's flight, and NASA gathered data about the earth-bound Kelly brother while the other was on the ISS. What changed was the way his DNA was transcribed and translated into functional products; the study of such shifts is called epigenetics. "This change of gene expression is very minimal".

So seven percent of Kelly's genes changed their expression - a pretty standard number for anyone under stress like a mountain climber or scuba diver, scientists said. About 93 per cent of the changes reverted to preflight levels within six months of Scott's return to Earth.

Nasa suggesting that year in space activated so-called space genes. "So that would make a major change in how we think about exploring the solar system, exploring space, and a change in understanding who we are and what we can do as explorers".

"The Twins Study has benefited NASA by providing the first application of genomics to evaluate potential risks to the human body in space", NASA said in a statement.

This remaining seven per cent points to the possible longer term changes in genes related to his immune system, DNA fix, bone formation networks, hypoxia and hypercapnia, the USA space agency said in a statement. But now, the science site is correcting its report with a March 16 mea culpa headlined, "We Were Totally Wrong About That Scott Kelly Space Genes Story". In light of that, it's no surprise that some misunderstandings about NASA's Twins Study preliminary findings have happened. The researchers discovered hyperactive immune activity as well, thought to be the result of his radically different environment: space. That's his twin brother, Mark, an astronaut who stayed on Earth while his brother was circling our planet.


And it's a long way from saying Scott Kelly's DNA "no longer matches that of his identical twin".

The twin brothers underwent medical testing before, during, and after lengthy mission.

The truth is, identical twins don't necessarily have identical DNA, even if that may sound hard to believe.

The study showed no cognitive difference between Scott and Mark after being on the space station.

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