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Astronaut twin experiment results surprising


Posted on Thursday, 2 February, 2017 | Comment icon 12 comments

NASA astronauts Mark and Scott Kelly. Image Credit: NASA
Astronaut Scott Kelly spent 340 days aboard the space station while his twin brother remained on Earth.
This extended stint in space gave scientists at NASA a unique opportunity to study what impact space travel has on the human body by comparing the health of both twins before Scott Kelly traveled to the International Space Station and then again after he had came back.

It was expected that spending time in space would have a detrimental effect on his health, but to everyone's surprise it turned out that one key ageing process actually seemed to have reversed.

Telemores, which are responsible for repairing damaged DNA, get shorter as we age which also reduces their effectiveness and makes us more prone to diseases such as cancer.

Remarkably however, Scott Kelly's telemores seemed to have actually increased in size relative to those of his brother while he was in space - the total opposite to what would be expected.

Exactly why this should be the case remains unclear.

Source: Independent | Comments (12)

Tags: Astronauts

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by Ashyne on 3 February, 2017, 4:35
move faster = time pass slower relative = ageing slower.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Timonthy on 3 February, 2017, 5:56
Yes, relative age, but it doesn't mean it should have reversed for Scott. 
Comment icon #5 Posted by taniwha on 3 February, 2017, 6:06
And what about astronauts who don't have twins back on Earth.  I bet their telamores adjust the same way too.   Pointless 
Comment icon #6 Posted by Timonthy on 3 February, 2017, 7:41
I'm sure, with your avatar being the picture that it is, that you were being 100% sarcastic with this post. (I hope! )
Comment icon #7 Posted by taniwha on 3 February, 2017, 8:12
I hope so too 
Comment icon #8 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 3 February, 2017, 10:28
Nope, his posts are usually like that.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Merc14 on 3 February, 2017, 16:14
Except they began to shorten when he got back on earth.  
Comment icon #10 Posted by highdesert50 on 4 February, 2017, 1:15
Small sample size, more akin to a medical grand round, is a method that provides an insightful opportunity to develop a hypothesis and more rigorously test. Nevertheless, a very interesting finding. Thanks for posting.
Comment icon #11 Posted by simplybill on 4 February, 2017, 1:19
I wonder if the brothers kept food journals as part of the research? I thought that Telomere length had already been proven to be directly related to diet. http://www.jnutbio.com/article/S0955-2863(11)00005-2/pdf
Comment icon #12 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy on 4 February, 2017, 1:30
The time dilation effect from Scott Kelly's stay on ISS is 0,01 second.  The record holder for longest time in space Gennady Padalka have experienced a time dilation of 0,02 seconds. You can see from this that time dilation have no real effect at the speed the ISS is travelling.


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