【美国宇航局对双胞胎研究揭示了太空旅行对人体的影响】

【美国宇航局对双胞胎研究揭示了太空旅行对人体的影响】人体在太空中究竟发生了什么?尽管数十年的宇航员正在执行太空任务,但这个问题仍然很难回答。现在美国宇航局的一项新研究通过研究一对双胞胎,揭示了太空环境对人体影响的线索。两名退役宇航员、双胞胎兄弟斯科特和马克,2015-2016研究期间,马克留在地球,而斯科特在国际空间站度过340天。结果发现太空环境会改变基因表达,斯科特的DNA序列在太空中会增长,而回地球后会缩短,并在着陆六个月后回归正常,但是部分基因表达被永久改变,无法恢复正常的基因包括与免疫系统功能和DNA修复有关的基因。

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What exactly happens to a human body in space? Despite decades of astronauts going on space missions, this question remains hard to answer. The problem is that there is a great deal of individual variation between humans, so everyone’s body is different. This makes it hard to compare the physiological effects of space travel between astronauts and those of us who stay on Earth.

But now a new NASA study has revealed clues about the effects of space by studying a pair of twins. Two retired astronauts, twin brothers Scott and Mark Kelly, lent their bodies to science to be studied for a period between 2015 and 2016. During this time, Mark stayed on Earth while Scott spent 340 days aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Scientists were able to compare how their two bodies responded over that time, without confounding factors of genetics and large individual differences.

The NASA researchers studied factors like gene expression changes, immune systems responses, and cognitive functioning. One significant finding was that spending time in space seems to effect aging. Scott had changes to his DNA, showing longer telomeres — the caps at the end of a DNA strand. When compared to his brother’s teleomeres, Scott’s telomeres were longer while he was in space and then shorter after his return to Earth, eventually returning to normal after six months.

Another finding was the way in which Scott’s genes expressed. Gene expression is part of the way that genes interact with an environment, and it was found that Scott’s genes expressed differently in space. His genes mostly returned to normal after he returned to Earth, but a few genes seemed to be permanently altered by time spent in space. The effected genes included those related to the functioning of the immune system and DNA repair.

“A number of physiological and cellular changes take place during spaceflight,” Jennifer Fogarty, chief scientist of the Human Research Program at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, said in a statement. “We have only scratched the surface of knowledge about the body in space. The Twins Study gave us the first integrated molecular view into genetic changes, and demonstrated how a human body adapts and remains robust and resilient even after spending nearly a year aboard the International Space Station. The data captured from integrated investigations like the NASA Twins Study will be explored for years to come.”

Full results of the study are published in the journal Science.

https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/space-body-twin-study/


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