Kelly brothers, Scott and Mark, are taking part in what NASA calls theTwins
Study, a genetic experiment of sorts, meant to help humanity
observe how our bodies change in space.
are, according toThe
Verge, the only twins that have ever traveled to space.
study is made up of 10 separate research projects, each of them focused
on different aspects of the human body and mind.
from the University of California, Colorado State University, University
of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University, Stanford, Northwestern, and
Cornell took part in this far-reaching and all-encompassing study.
and Mark are identical twins. Scott was sent to the International Space
Station in March 2016, and his brother Mark retired as an astronaut in
one brother in space and the other Earth-bound, a groundbreaking study
scientists have decided to take advantage of the brothers’ unique
situation. Their aim was to learn as much as possible about the human
body in space, by analyzing how each Kellys’ biological markers evolved.
Twin Study propelled NASA into the genomics era of space travel. It
was a ground-breaking study comparing what happened to astronaut Scott
Kelly, in space, to his identical twin brother, Mark, who remained on
Earth. The perfect nature versus nurture study was born.”
will release its Twins Study summary paper later this year, but the
largest astronomy magazine and website in the USA,Astronomy,
published an insightful report on February 16, summarizing the
preliminary findings of each of the 10 research projects.
who was sent to the International Space Station in March 2016,
experienced some changes. His carotid artery was thicker and his
inflammation biomarkers were elevated.
vaccine works, even in space
Universityresearchers introduced the flu
vaccine to Kelly brothers during and post flight.
investigation studies how the immune system changes when an astronaut is
exposed to a physically challenging environment and how immune response
to a seasonal flu vaccination differs between the twin who was in space
and the one who remained on Earth,” researchers wrote.
and Scott displayed increased immune cell responses on both occasions,
so it was concluded that the flu vaccine produces the desired immune
system response, even in space.
suggests that being in a microgravity environment increases
inflammation, because Scott’s lipid panel taken in space indicated
inflammation, and he experienced an increase in proteins that regulate
the most interesting and groundbreaking part of the Twins Study concerns
only do genes mutate in space, space impacts the way that genes express
Cornell Medicinescientists and researchers
looked for medical changes in Mark and Scott’s RNA and DNA.
it turns out, Scott, who was sent to the International Space Station in
March 2016, experienced hundreds of gene mutations.
a Johns Hopkins University study concluded that the way that genes
express themselves (epigenetics) differed between the two brothers.
impacts the body’s ability to form and modify proteins
of Californiaresearchers took urine samples
from the brothers before, during, and after flight. This allowed them to
identify changes in bones and muscles, as well as cardiovascular and
he was in space, Scott had elevated levels of aquaporin 2 – a protein
which helps water transportation within the body and serves as an
indicator of a body’s hydration status.
change is, researchers claim, a result of the fact that fluids tend to
migrate to the head in a microgravity environment.