NASA's Astronauts DNA changed? Twin study tells how Scott Kelly telomeres lengthened in space, but shortened on Earth

10 March 2018, 09:43 AM
Source: NASA/twiter
Source: NASA/twiter

Did you know that DNA changes in the space? Well we are her to tell you that the NASA twins study in another chapter of the book for Science, but with a new twist as its in the fields of genetics and not of physics or astronomy.

To prove this, NASA used two astronauts, Mark and Scott Kelly, since they were twins and shared the same DNA, this made things easier for the space agency to find out the differences or in other word how space affected human body. One of the study’s subjects, Scott Kelly, revealed his reaction to the study findings on the weekday show Marketplace Tech.

In the study it was found that the space travel creates several threats to astronauts, hence the limited number of manned missions. The threats start right from when the rocket takes off, and the latest findings by NASA suggest that the building blocks of life changes after exposure to outer space.

It was in 2016, when Scott Kelly came back from his 342-day mission on International Space Station, the initial findings revealed that his telomeres lengthened in space, but shortened in just two days following his return to Earth. These findings suggest that genetic changes are temporary and DNA returns to normal after the passage of some time.

While it’s possible for the DNA differences to be a temporary effect on the human body, NASA’s findings reveal otherwise. Approximately 7 percent of Scott Kelly’s DNA change while he was in space. So, 7 percent of his DNA was altered permanently, while the remaining 93 percent reverted to normal as his body adapted to living on Earth.

“I did read in the newspaper the other day… that 7 percent of my DNA had changed permanently,” Kelly said. “And I’m reading that, I’m like, ‘Huh, well that’s weird.'”

Kelly, who retired from NASA in 2016, had much to say about the risks associated with space flight. According to him, his job is like any other profession which entails risks.

First Published: Saturday, March 10, 2018 09:16 AM
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