Home Human Behavior Space travel causes changes in our genes Space travel causes changes in our genesNASA sent a twin into space while his twin remained on Earth. When the space traveler returned to Earth, his genetic makeup had changed dramatically. Human Behavior 2023-07-13 by Space Navy 0 Comment NASA sent a twin into space while his twin remained on Earth. When the space traveler returned to Earth, his genetic makeup had changed dramatically. The trip to Mars takes about half a year, considering the technology we currently have at our disposal. If we are going to send people all the way there, it is important to study the effects of space on the human body when it spends long periods of time in the vastness of space. Single twin study In March 2015, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly was sent to the International Space Station for a 340-day mission, while his twin brother, Mark, remained on Earth. Both men were studied in pairs and closely monitored during the process in hopes that the results would reveal the effect of the stay on the ISS on Scott Kelly. Now the results of this remarkable twin study have been published, and they reveal that there was a change in Scott’s genetic makeup as a result of his stay on the space station: RNA molecules 200,000 RNA molecules in the blood cells of the twins are different in Scott and Mark. The intention is to demonstrate through research whether Scott’s space travel is to blame for these differences. Geneticists at NASA noticed that there was a huge increase in so-called DNA methylation from the moment Scott went into space. DNA methylation is a process that activates and deactivates the various genes in the DNA strand. During this 340-day stay, the geneticists noticed thousands of small changes in Scott’s genes that were not observed in his twin brother Mark. The changes were only noticeable for a short time after the astronaut returned to Earth, but the inheritors, on the other hand, returned to their original state soon after the return. The geneticists hope that this new knowledge will help them to better prepare astronauts for a long stay in space, and they also hope to be able to prevent various health problems among astronauts by developing treatments against them in advance. In 2019, all the results were published in the journal Science . They can be read HERE .