Space Age: A Longer Lifespan in the Cosmos?

Cesar Mills
March 16, 2018

Several hundred "space genes" were still disrupted after his return to Earth, the experts found.

Bascom also points out that it takes a lot less than space travel to alter how open or closed genes are for interpretation.

If you're a fan of comic books involving superheroes, space seems to be a recurring theme where due to a meteoroid crashing into Earth or there being some kind of solar flare that our heroes get caught in, they can somehow gain super powers.

Scott Kelly spent nearly a year in space. However, the remaining seven per cent point to possible longer term changes in genes related to his immune system, DNA fix, bone formation networks, hypoxia and hypercapnia.

Researchers are analysing what happened to Mr Kelly before, during, and after his year-long stint aboard the International Space Station using his brother, Mark, as a benchmark. The milestone flight was the longest single flight of any American, providing investigators an opportunity to see how human health changes in almost a year. Telomeres cap off chromosomes and regulate the aging process.

Christopher Mason, a geneticist and biochemist at Cornell University leading this part of the twin study, told Business Insider that some of these changes occurred in regions of Kelly's DNA that code for vision and immune system function.

Changes like the longer telomeres disappeared after 48 hours of being back on Earth.

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But, the remaining seven percent of the genetic changes point to possible longer term changes in genes related to his immune system, DNA fix, bone formation networks, hypoxia (or oxygen deficiency) and hypercapnia (excessive carbon dioxide in the blood). Kelly joked about the changes in his DNA by stating that he would no longer have to call Mark Kelly his identical twin.

"Researchers now know that 93% of Scott's genes returned to normal after landing", NASA wrote in a statement.

President Donald Trump announced his intentions to fund NASA to send astronauts to Mars.

Researchers took biological samples from Scott before, during and after his mission and then compared them to Mark's samples.

So the Kelly brothers might not have been genetically identical to start with, but after Scott's time in space they are even less like each other.

The study was created to identify any risks space travel may have for humans. As well, the astronaut's time in space seems to have stunted his bone formation, at least in the latter portions of the trip.

Since Kelly's return, the two have been subjected to medical tests to see what long-term effects microgravity has had of Scott's Kelly's physique.

Other reports by GizPress

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