Astronaut finds his DNA no longer identical to his twin brother

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

Because of the change, Kelly and his brother-retired astronaut Mark Kelly-are no longer considered identical twins. While it makes sense that spending a year in space would have a significant impact on a person, it's insane to think that it would actually alter a person's DNA. Scott, right, spent a year in space while Mark stayed on Earth as a control subject.

Spending a year in space not only changes your outlook, it transforms your genes.

If you're a fan of comic books involving superheroes, space seems to be a recurring theme where due to a meteoroid crashing into Earth or there being some kind of solar flare that our heroes get caught in, they can somehow gain super powers.

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NASA has confirmed that astronaut Scott Kelly's DNA was altered after spending a year in space.

Scott Kelly spent one year aboard the International Space Station during the study, while his brother remained on Earth. Post-flight, NASA investigators found "hundreds of unique mutations". For Scott Kelly, his space trip seemed to do just that. And along with another research group, they have seen signs that the end caps on his chromosomes - called telomeres - may have gotten longer during spaceflight.

Ninety-three percent of Scott Kelly's DNA returned to normal after returning to Earth. However, the remaining 7 percent point to possible longer-term changes in genes related to his immune system, DNA fix, bone formation networks, hypoxia, and hypercapnia. First, there was a significant increase in average length while he was in space, and then there was a decrease in length within about 48 hours of his landing on Earth that stabilized to almost preflight levels. Most of the changes that Scott Kelly went through disappeared after hours or days of his return to Earth, but some changes stayed with him after six months. At least this was the result of NASA analyzes, after which the scientists announced that their DNA had been changed by 7%. But he literally no longer has the same DNA as his identical twin, and that to me is incredibly wild.

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President Donald Trump announced his intentions to fund NASA to send astronauts to Mars. His last ― and longest ― mission, which took place in 2011, lasted 15 days.

NASA's study into the changes may shine a light on the possibility of people traveling to other planets. "'Space genes' insinuates that the genes are...providing some adaptive advantage towards spaceflight when in fact the changes could be harmful over the long-term", he says.

Scott Kelly returned to Earth taller than when he left.

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