Astronaut Twin Study Finds Space Travel Can Alter DNA

A new study based on astronauts Scott Kelly and Mark Kelly—identical twins—found that space travel can alter DNA, at least the way we’re doing space travel now. The study found that 7% of Scott Kelly’s DNA did not return to normal after a one-year mission in space. Gizmodo noted that the change is epigenetic in nature, rather than simply genetic. It’s the way Mr. Kelly’s genes are expressed, not the genes themselves, otherwise he would now be a new species. Important semantics aside, the changes were thought to be caused by “oxygen-deprivation stress, increased inflammation, and dramatic nutrient shifts that affect gene expression,” according to CNN. It’s important to both understand and solve these kinds of issues when it comes to prolonged space flight, travel to Mars, and other space-related activities, and the Kellys being part of this study will pay untold dividends towards that understanding. The video below on the topic is from NBC.

Check It Out: Astronaut Twin Study Finds Space Travel Can Alter DNA

4 thoughts on “Astronaut Twin Study Finds Space Travel Can Alter DNA

  • And this is related to Macs… how?

    I’ve noticed several articles recently that have absolutely zero relevance to the world of Macs, iPhones, iOS, MacOS or other Apple products. Please don’t let this site, which I look to as an authoritative source of information about all of those items, get diluted with general news that’s “interesting” or “scientific.”

    It’s MacObserver, not “ScienceObserver” or “General Interest Observer,” right?

  • Bit of fake news here. First, this was announced over a year ago. 2nd, DNA changes here on earth over time from natural mutations and twins’ DNA moves apart even here on earth. What is tougher to measure is how much more than the normal shift in DNA does being in space cause. Actually difficult to massage out. What this is really more of a story of just how much “broken telephone” destruction of facts/news our dreadful press (on both sides of the political spectrum) causes.

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