Friday, March 16, 2018

No, Scott Kelly's DNA didn't change

I was waiting to see if this one would be debunked - and it was.

NASA's twin study, designed to test the effects of long term space travel by hiring two identical twins, putting one of them in space and the other on Earth did show results...but it wasn't a "7% change in Scott Kelly's DNA."

What they were able to pinpoint were changes in gene expression, a reaction to the environment of space. Similar changes are seen in people who do a lot of scuba diving.

But something very significant was buried in the bottom.

Scott's telomeres became longer than his brother's. They shortened back up after his return, but this could give us insights into, well. Aging.

(And there's probably a story in there. Somewhere).