More detailed follow-up was done after one year! This is interesting ….
For a year from March 2015 to March 2016, Scott Kelly, one of NASA's twin astronauts, passed under the microgravity of the International Space Station hundreds of miles above the surface. Meanwhile, Mark Kerry, an identical brother and colleague, remained on Earth.
This is a rare research opportunity. The Kerry brothers are genetically identical. The fact that the brand remained on the ground made it a good control experiment. Thanks to this, we can study Scott's physical changes in detail when we live in space. The first report of a study that investigated the effects of the long-term permanence of space through the multimeric analysis that merged several methods of analysis was published in the journal Science.
The scope of the research was diverse, and all analyzes were carried out from the physical level to the molecular level. Gene expression, telomer, epigenetics, immune function, bacterial flora, etc.
Humans have flourished on earth for tens of thousands of years. We were born on earth and evolved on earth. In an environment with microgravity and ionizing radiation in the universe, changes occur in several parts. It was possible to track these changes as individuals. For example, long-term stay in space causes anatomical changes in the eye, decreased bone density and small changes in the brain. But if you study the twins at the molecular level, you can approach the nucleus.
By the time this article comes out, there have been some announcements about the changes that have occurred in Scott's body. Hypoxic stress, increased inflammation and drastic changes in nutrients are causing 7% of genetic alterations, mainly in the immune system.
Scott's eyes had changes seen in other astronauts, such as flattening of the eye and thickening of the retina, and the same change in bone density.
New research has also seen changes in bacterial flora. There was no difference in the type of bacterial flora, but the proportion was changing. The good news is that influenza vaccines have also worked in space. In addition, Scott's diet and exercise habits have had a better impact on health than the planet's brands. Scott was losing weight.
Interestingly, the telomere length of Scott's white blood cells was increased. Telomeres are DNA strands that protect the ends of chromosomes, and they become shorter by division and can not be divided if they are lost. According to our predictions, telomeres are considered short, and some were actually short, but we found something surprisingly stretched.
Ionizing radiation caused structural changes in the Scott chromosome, and the microgravity environment thickened the wall of the carotid artery and reduced the collagen. Cognitive function was also affected. There was no change in cognitive function during the stay in space, but there was a decline upon return to Earth.
Most of these changes were temporary. But if you return from Mars, it will take longer to recover. In addition, there were also things that kept changing. The increase in the length of telomeres and the expression of certain genes remain as they are.
This study was conducted using the rare opportunity of twin astronauts. Before searching for a long-term manned exploration for Mars, it has become a valuable asset. The discovery that many of the physical changes that occurred as a result of space entry will be recovered will be an advantage for future manned explorations.
With the entry of private companies, space travel is likely to reach the public in the future. This research reduced anxiety at that time.
Gene change in space stay! ? An astronaut who became a different object than twin DNA