Science

NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly's DNA Changed in Space

NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly's DNA Changed in Space”

It's a groundbreaking discovery that has huge implications for space travel, and for long-term colonies on places like the moon or Mars.

After a year at the International Space Station - the longest time an American has spent outside our planet - NASA astronaut Scott Kelly returned to Earth with changes in his DNA At first glance astronaut Scott Kelly and his brother Mark look exactly the same.

But Scott Kelly, the US Space Agency astronaut who broke any record of staying at the International Space Station, changed a little.

Scott stayed on the International Space Station from March 2015 to March 2016, while Mark remained on Earth.

And because different research laboratories were given different missions in the comparative study, it took about two years to come up with the preliminary results, and they're quite interesting.

Researchers studied Scott in space psychologically and physiologically, comparing his results to those of his Earthbound brother. Researchers also presented data from Scott's time back on Earth. Ten research teams presented their preliminary findings previous year at NASA's Human Research Program 2017 Investigators' Workshop (IWS).

"Scott's telomeres (endcaps of chromosomes that shorten as one ages) actually became significantly longer in space", NASA researchers wrote in a statement. This unexplained anomaly was verified with multiple assays and genomics testing. A few, however, still affected Scott six months after his return. While most genes returned to normal after he returned to Earth, 7 percent did not. The space agency added that Kelly had hundreds of "space genes" activated by the year-long flight which reportedly altered the astronaut's "immune system, DNA fix, bone formation networks, hypoxia, and hypercapnia". "However, a more pronounced decrease in speed and accuracy was reported postflight, possibly due to re-exposure and adjustment to Earth's gravity, and the busy schedule that enveloped Scott after his mission". There is no doubt that further research is still needed to understand what happened to Scott Kelly's DNA.



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