Astronaut’s DNA Altered After Being in Space for A Year
At the Investigator’s Workshop for Nasa’s Human Research Program in January of this year, NASA revealed the preliminary results of a test they had conducted on twins Scott and Mark Kelly. NASA did an extensive study on Scott before, during and after he spent a year on the International Space Station by comparing his genetic makeup with that of his twin brother, Mark.
The results found that 7% of Scott’s DNA did not return back to their normal state when he came back to Earth two years ago. It is thought that this difference could have occurred because of stress of being in space such as oxygen deprivation, nutrient shifts and increased levels of inflammation. The change also suggests that the long-term changes are connected to around five biological functions and pathways.
The rest of the 98% of his genetic makeup remained the same and he is still Mark’s identical twin as there are no physical effects of this change in DNA. Chris Mason, from Weill Cornell Medicine, conducted his own separate study that he published last year about this NASA case. According to the findings of his team, the differences were in the astronaut’s collagen such as blood clotting and bone formation that could have occurred due to zero gravity levels and fluid changes. According to NASA, this study was just a step into their next phase of sending a three-year mission to Mars.
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