"The Twins Study has benefited NASA by providing the first application of genomics to evaluate potential risks to the human body in space", according to a release from the agency. While Scott spent a year in space for the experiment, Mark remained on Earth as the control subject. But that's not all - Scott's genetic code was different.
We can't wait for NASA to release their complete study to show how space impacts the human body to get a complete picture of the way spaceflight alters a human-especially since we TOTALLY want to jump on a SpaceX rocket to Mars once Elon Musk gets that up and running for the general public.
NASA experts have compared his data with twin brother mark, and I say that now, Scott is a "new man". Preliminary findings in the Twin Study Measuring large numbers of metabolites, cytokines, and proteins, researchers learned that spaceflight is associated with oxygen deprivation stress, increased inflammation, and dramatic nutrient shifts that affect gene expression.
"I did read in the newspaper the other day... that 7 percent of my DNA had changed permanently", he told broadcaster Marketplace in a recent interview.
Most biological fluctuations quickly reached baseline; some took hours or days, while a few persisted after six months.
At the same time, the study took into account possible genomic and cognitive changes between the two brothers.
While 93 per cent of Kelly's DNA returned to normal once he was back on Earth, several hundred "space genes" remained. 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". "The body thinks there's a reason to defend itself". As well, the astronaut's time in space seems to have stunted his bone formation, at least in the latter portions of the trip. But he did exhibit a pronounced decrease in speed and accuracy post-flight, which NASA attributed to Scott's re-exposure and adjustment to Earth's gravity, along with his busy schedule.
Mathias Basner - a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, who was in charge of conducting the tests - also found no real difference in cognition between 6 month and 12 month missions. "These responses are important for future missions".
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