Scott and his identical twin, Mark. Scott’s body sometimes reacted strangely to nearly a year in orbit, at least compared to his brother.
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NASA twins study explores space, the final genetic frontierFrom his eyes to his immune system, astronaut Scott Kelly's body sometimes reacted strangely to nearly a year in orbit, at least compared to his Earth-bound identical twin -- but newly published research shows nothing that would cancel even longer space treks, like to Mars. The good news: Kelly largely bounced back after returning home, say scientists who released final results from NASA's "twins study," a never-before opportunity to track the biological consequences of spaceflight in genetic doubles.It marks "the dawn of human genomics in space," said Dr. Andrew Feinberg of Johns Hopkins University. He led one of 10 teams of researchers that scrutinized the twins' health down to the molecular level before, during and after Kelly's 340-day stay at the International Space Station.This time, NASA-funded scientists looked for a gamut of physiologic and genomic changes that Scott Kelly experienced in space, comparing them to his DNA double on the ground, former astronaut Mark Kelly.In space, Scott Kelly's telomeres got longer.Kelly retired from NASA soon after his return. He said it probably took him six months once back on Earth before he felt 100 percent again, but acknowledged his wife said it seemed more like eight months. What was particularly hard, he said, was getting used to not having a schedule dictating his life in five-minute increments every single day, like there was in space.
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