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Want to be different from your identical twin? Go to space

The study is a precursor to a three-year manned trip to Mars.
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What's happening?

Science, that's what's happening. Glorious, wonderful, space science.

NASA has on Wednesday released the result of its groundbreaking study involving Astronaut Scott Kelly and his identical twin brother, Mark.

Scott spent a year in space aboard the International Space Station as part of the study to figure out the impact of prolonged space exposure on the body.

It's a precursor to a possible three-year manned expedition to Mars, and what they found is mind-blowing.


– What do people miss most during a year in space?

They're not the same anymore

The headline finding from the experiment concerns Scott Kelly's genes, in that he's no longer genetically identical to his brother.

Although 93 percent of Scott's genes returned to normal once he returned to Earth, the remaining 7 percent had possibly mutated.

NASA says that this could lead to longer term changes in Scott's genes relating to "his immune system, DNA repair, bone formation networks, hypoxia and hypercapnia."

Hypoxia refers to the amount of oxygenation in Scott's tissue, that may have been affected due to a lack of oxygen and high levels of carbon dioxide in space, KTLA notes.

NASA refers to these possible changes as the "space gene."

NASA also notes that the increased stay in space didn't result in a decrease in Scott's cognitive performance relative to his brother on the ground, however there was a "more pronounced decrease in speed and accuracy."

You can read more on the study here.

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