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Astronaut’s Gene Expression No Longer the Same as His Identical Twin, According to NASA

Earlier reports saying the astronaut’s DNA had changed is inaccurate.

Preliminary results from NASA‘s Twins Study revealed that 7% of astronaut Scott Kelly’s genetic expression had not returned to baseline after his return to Earth two years ago. Experts at NASA are studying what happened to the astronaut before, during, and after he spent one year aboard the International Space Station. Scientists are conducting an extensive comparison of Kelly and his identical twin, Mark, who remained on Earth.

Kelly spent 340 days on the ISS from 2015 to 2016, along with Russian crewmate Mikhail Kornienko. Earlier reports said that Kelly’s DNA had changed, which makes him no longer identical with his twin. But the reports were an inaccurate description of what really happened.

Kelly’s DNA did not change; it is his gene expression that did.

Source: NASA

Gene expression is how the genes function within cells. According to NASA, some of Scott’s genes changed their expression while he was in space. Seven percent of those genes did not return to baseline.

This means that Kelly’s DNA still has the same sequence as before, but what his cells get from the DNA has changed.

Kelly and his twin are still identical.

Source: NASA

Kelly’s gene expression transformation, however, suggests long-term changes to at least five biological pathways and functions, according to CNN.

To study the changes in Kelly caused by his time in space, experts at NASA measured Kelly’s proteins, metabolites, and cytokines before, during, and after his mission. The scientists found that flying to space can cause oxygen-deprivation stress, increased inflammation, and dramatic nutrient shifts – all of which can have an effect in a human’s gene expression.

According to NASA, the 7% change in Kelly’s gene expression is minimal.

Source: NASA

Although 93% of Kelly’s genetic expression returned to normal once he was back on Earth, scientists note that changes in the function of his cells may occur.

Sci/Tech

Ancient 99-Million-Year-Old Frogs Look Just Like Modern-Day Toads

Frogs will always be frogs, whether they were born today or in the Cretaceous Period.

The world is filled with exciting new discoveries from ancient times. Scientists have just uncovered evidence that frogs roamed the Earth during the Cretaceous Period about 100 million years ago. Interestingly, these ancient toads seem to look just like their modern-day descendants.

A new report confirms that scientists have found four frog fossils in northern Myanmar. The tiny bodies were encased in amber and offer a clear glimpse at what tropical rainforests looked like in the Cretaceous Period. In any case, the discovery is groundbreaking since frogs rarely become fossils.

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Elon Musk’s Flamethrowers Get Misused On Social Media Despite Strict Terms & Conditions

What better way to start a particularly hot summer?

There is little doubt that Elon Musk's flamethrowers are the hottest new commodity right now. After all, the fiery device produced by The Boring Company have just been sold out. However, it looks like consumers have already started misusing the dangerous product despite its lengthy terms and conditions.

The Boring Company finally rolled out Not A Flamethrower at a celebrated pick up event held at the company's headquarters. People who had pre-ordered the gadgets were given a chance to sample the power of the flamethrower on unfortunate marshmallows. Although safety was reinforced during the event, things took a dangerous turn once everyone got home.

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NASA’s Curiosity Rover Finds Ancient Organics On Mars, Possible Life On Planet In The Past

The new discovery might confirm life thrived on the Red Planet billions of years ago.

Curiosity has made an exciting discovery on the surface of Mars. The rover has just found possible evidence of life on the planet billions of years ago. NASA might not quite ready to confirm that creatures once roamed the Red Planet. Nevertheless, the agency believes that the findings could mean positive things for future missions.

The NASA rover has found organic molecules in sedimentary rocks near the planet's surface. These molecules may contain hydroxen, carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen and are usually associated with life. However, their presence in the billion-year-old rocks does not confirm life on Mars just yet.

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