MAR 28, 2018 08:08 PM PDT

Space Had a Small but Long-lasting Effect on Genes

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

Astronaut Scott Kelly and his identical twin Mark participated in NASA's twin study to assess what effect space travel had on the body. Indeed, going to space increased inflammation, created shifts in nutrient levels and was stressful due to oxygen deprivation. All of that acted to change the expression of many different genes. Telomeres, the caps on the ends of chromosomes, also lengthened during Scott's time in space.

Now that Scott has been back on Earth for two years, the study has found that there was no "fundamental change" to his DNA, according to NASA. However, seven percent of the genes that were altered during spaceflight have not returned to their typical expression levels, although the remaining 93 percent did. That change is comparable to the effects of some other strenuous activities that people might undertake, said NASA, like diving or mountain climbing.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
NOV 06, 2018
Videos
NOV 06, 2018
Towards a Universal Flu Vaccine
Researchers have to design a new flu vaccine every year. But there are efforts to create a vaccine that works against all strains....
NOV 23, 2018
Videos
NOV 23, 2018
Another Food Recall: Ground Turkey
The USDA announced that Jennie-O has recalled about 147,276 pounds of its ground raw turkey products....
NOV 26, 2018
Health & Medicine
NOV 26, 2018
The Fight Bite
  Human bite wounds are a common source of polymicrobial infections accounting for many emergency room visits. One bacteria, Eikenella corrodens, ...
DEC 03, 2018
Cancer
DEC 03, 2018
Using bubbly nano-particles for chemotherapy delivery
We have all heard about the harsh side effects of chemotherapy that could be so difficult leading to stopping treatment. The reason behind those side effects is that chemotherapy drugs do tar...
DEC 04, 2018
Space & Astronomy
DEC 04, 2018
Learn How NASA's Apollo 12 Mission Escaped Double Lightning Strikes
When NASA’s Apollo 12 mission was preparing to launch on November 14th, 1969, ominous storm clouds began swarming the launch pad. Regardless, weather...
DEC 10, 2018
Space & Astronomy
DEC 10, 2018
Learn More About How NASA Built the Parker Solar Probe
When NASA built the Solar Parker Probe to embark on its mission to study the Sun, they knew it’d need to be built with bleeding-edge technology to ma...
Loading Comments...