Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Celestial Bodies the Kelly Twins Offer a Vital Sign for Space Travel

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Celestial Bodies the Kelly Twins Offer a Vital Sign for Space Travel

Article excerpt

When astronaut Scott Kelly returned to Earth after nearly a year on the International Space Station, he was 2 inches taller than his twin brother, astronaut Mark Kelly. When Scott left for the mission, he and his earthbound brother were the same height.

What happened? Scientists at NASA are poring over the data compiled from the Twins Study, information that benchmarks Scott and Mark Kelly's genomic and physical markers before and after Scott's yearlong mission on the space station.

So far we've learned that being in space for prolonged periods does have an effect on the chromosomes, bone structure and even the content of the culture in an astronaut's gut. Scott's DNA and RNA underwent hundreds of mutations in space that gradually returned to normal once he was back on Earth. …

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