Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Astronaut's DNA no longer matches that of his identical twin, NASA finds
On Earth, a thing falls at approximately 9.8 meters per second. In Space, nothing falls. That’s zero gravity. After a year-long stay in the International Space without gravity, a 52-year old astronaut became taller by over five centimeters. His identical twin brother who remained on earth during the period had no change in his height, of course. Fortunately, or unfortunately, the extended height of the astronaut returned to normal after a few days. But didn’t he experience any other physical, biological, or mental changes?
In space, gravity isn’t the only difference from the normal environment on earth. Space crew members and passengers will experience weightlessness and isolation, feel stress, and suffer radiation exposure during the spaceflight or mission. In fact, some changes in the astronaut’s gene expression, how the human body reacts to the environment, was observed after the year-long mission, such as collagen, blood clotting, bone formation, and immune activities. Also, some of his genes were found to be different from the ones of his identical twin brother’s after the mission.
Some of these changes might have surprised even Stephen Hawking.
Enjoy reading and think if you want to jump on the first flight to Mars or wait until more is studies.