Initial Twin Study Released

NASA has released preliminary results from their Twin Study comparing identical twin astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly following Scott Kelly’s long-duration mission on the International Space Station. Results unexpected showed changes in gene expression, DNA methylation and other biological markers. The caps on the ends of Scott Kelly’s telomeres grew longer during his space flight (returning to normal after landing), which was the opposite of the expected results. Full results of the study are expected to be released over the next few years.
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Time for the Stars

In Heinlein’s 1956 novel Time for the Stars, he described an experiment in which one identical twin was sent on a space mission while the other stayed at home. NASA has now announced that it will be using a set of twins to examine the effects of prolonged space flight on the human body. Astronaut Scott Kelly, veteran of two shuttle missions and a former ISS Commander, will spend a year aboard the ISS for NASA longest spaceflight ever. His brother, Mark Kelley, who flew four shuttle missions, including as commander of Endeavour‘s final flight, will remain on Earth as the control. Scott Kelly is scheduled to join the ISS crew in March 2014.

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