Astronaut's DNA no longer matches his identical twin

NASA's astronaut who spent a whole year in space showed changes in his DNA

The HRP is dedicated to discovering the best methods and technologies to support safe, productive human space travel, as well as educating the public about the challenges of human space travel.

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.

Kelly's one-year mission is a scientific stepping stone to a planned three-year mission to Mars, NASA said. According to researchers, Kelly's telomeres began shortening again once he returned to Earth.

In a prolonged effort to keep astronauts safe, NASA will continue to study how spaceflight impacts humans and will release the full results from the Kelly twins' study later this year. And how could it be different since they are monozygotic twins.

NASA has learned that the formerly identical twins are no longer genetically the same. According to researchers, around 7% of Scott Kelly's genes have shown long-lasting changes when compared to his brother's.

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The space agency has since revealed about seven per cent of Scott Kelly's genes may have possible long-term changes after his mission - He spent from March 2015 to February 2016 in space.

While in space, researchers monitored Kelly's metabolites, cytokines, and proteins to learn how space travel affects biological systems. After Scott returned to Earth from his year-long mission, it took his body time to re-adapt to Earth's gravity. Some of these changes went back to normal within hours of landing on Earth.

The Twins Study Investigators came from around the country to meet and share their final research results at the annual Human Research Program Investigators' Workshop held in Galveston, Texas in January 2018. Scientists believe that these telomere changes, along with the DNA damage and DNA fix measured in Scott's cells, were caused by both radiation and calorie restrictions.

Scott's telomeres, the ends of chromosomes that shorten as you age, became significantly longer in space, but the majority of them shortened within two days of his return to Earth. "While this finding was presented in 2017, the team verified this unexpected change with multiple assays and genomics testing".

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