Skip to comments.The truth about astronaut Scott Kelly’s viral ‘space genes’
Posted on 03/16/2018 10:20:09 AM PDT by BenLurkin
[A]rticles claiming that the mission activated Kelly's space genes, that 7 percent of his genes didn't return to normal post-spaceflight, and that he and Mark are no longer identical twins..... these stories are biologically impossible.
If 7 percent of Kelly's genome was altered, he would be about as different from a human as a rhesus monkey.
Your genome dwells inside the nuclei of your cells. Think of it as an instruction manual: It is the complete set of DNA that describes the form and function of every aspect of your being, with each gene pertaining to a particular task life requires. But this manual is also like a rare book that can't be taken out of the library. It must be transcribed by enzymes, resulting in a copy of the sequence known as RNA. That RNA is then translated into proteins, the molecules that do the actual work of keeping you alive.
When Scott Kelly went into space, his DNA remained fundamentally the same. What changed was the way his DNA was transcribed and translated into functional products; the study of such shifts is called epigenetics. These epigenetic changes were likely the body's way of responding to the low gravity, oxygen deprivation, increased inflammation and diet challenges of spaceflight.
Johns Hopkins researcher Andy Feinberg, one of 10 investigators on the Twins Study, observed variability in patterns of methylation the process by which genes are chemically turned on and off. Chris Mason of Weill Cornell Medicine reported epigenetic changes in five biological pathways, including those related to oxygen deprivation, DNA repair and bone formation. This alterations may point to space genes, the ones in which function is affected by time off Earth. Other researchers noticed changes in Scott's body mass, telomere length and cognition over the course of the mission and after it; most shifts were not lasting.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
ou mean someone in the media would lie to us? Thought they were experts.
...it was on the internet...
..so it must be true...
Sorry, the journalists have reached a scientific consensus.
If they check his genes again in a year, they’ll be like, “Oh, never mind.”
What facts? We don’t need no steenking facts ;)
OMG! Look at what space exposure’s done to Scott Tingle!
I think i heard he grew 2 inches in one year, that was a surprise to me.
Space tingles. She gives them.
Apparently Mark and Scott still share the “Media Whore” gene...Space exposure must not effect that part of DNA...
Not very long ago, the "viral" here would've been interpreted differently.
Spine decompression. Get him back in normal gravity and give him a ton of NASA paperwork and he’ll be crushed back down again.
Yes, his genome did not change, that is true. But we have plenty of idle genes that often are never “turned on” - activated to express their particular coding for blocking or producing some substance - or always turned on and never “turned off” - just sit reside there in the DNA in the nucleus but performing no role at all in our lifetime.
What changed was that condition, for quite a number of genes, of either suddenly being turned on or turned off during his space journey is what happened.
Genes alone are only part of who we are. Epigenetic forces and conditions have always played a role in what of our genome is “active” and what is idle.
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