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[Giz] First Genetic Results From Scott Kelly's Year In Space Reveal DNA Mysteries

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
http://gizmodo.com/first-science-results-from-scott-kellys-year-in-space-r-1791775917
Quote:
As identical twins, the brothers are genetically very similar. However, researchers found that while he was in orbit, Scott’s telomeres—the caps on the ends of chromosomes—grew longer than his twin brother’s. Though Scott’s telomeres returned to their pre-flight lengths shortly after he returned to Earth, these results were totally unexpected, since telomeres naturally shrink over the course of one’s life, and the stresses of spaceflight are supposed to accelerate this.

So like the jellyfish that lives forever by renewing its telomeres, perhaps we can travel infinite space after all and simply live longer... if at near lightspeed, perhaps are telomeres will also regenerate like the jellyfish and we essentially will live forever while traveling. Neat
    
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post #2 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by caenlen View Post

http://gizmodo.com/first-science-results-from-scott-kellys-year-in-space-r-1791775917
So like the jellyfish that lives forever by renewing its telomeres, perhaps we can travel infinite space after all and simply live longer... if at near lightspeed, perhaps are telomeres will also regenerate like the jellyfish and we essentially will live forever while traveling. Neat


Well, hahaha, yes to the telomeres, but it's not the ONLY symptom and limitation to aging..

There's irremovable cell pollution, cancer (yes cancer is a certainty of aging, if you live long enough YOU WILL GET CANCER), lots of other stuff too..
post #3 of 21
Actually this is pretty cool, not necessarily from a "it'll cure aging and all that jazz" stuff, but just all of the general genetic changes they are hinting at in the article. Wouldn't be ironic that certain genes activate and we physically change to a degree to make us more viable for space travel? Keep running with that and this might even be supporting evidence for humans being part extraterrestrial, or some evidence for a degree of intelligent creation of some sort.

If nothing else, it does make you go "huh... hmm..."
post #4 of 21
A methylation process from low orbit speeds and/or low gravitational pull that essentially makes the telomeres more efficient by not reading and transcribing sections of the gene that don't need to be. The molecular effects of time dilation perhaps?
post #5 of 21
Unlikely the small speed difference would have a measurable relativistic effect on DNA.

My guess is there is a natural rejuvenation process on telomeres and also a wear and tear effect from the stress of simply living. Low gravity = lower stress thus the equilibrium point shifted to longer telomeres, and this reversed as soon as he returned to gravity.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightbird View Post

Unlikely the small speed difference would have a measurable relativistic effect on DNA.

My guess is there is a natural rejuvenation process on telomeres and also a wear and tear effect from the stress of simply living. Low gravity = lower stress thus the equilibrium point shifted to longer telomeres, and this reversed as soon as he returned to gravity.

Just neat to think about is all I was going for. ^^
    
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post #7 of 21
No controlled variables? Unless I've totally missed it. Someone point it out for me if I did.
post #8 of 21
I put my money on there being a simple and fairly inconsequential mechanism that causes this. Not even so much for an educated hunch but the feeling I get that people still view DNA with some unnecessary tint of supernaturality.
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post #9 of 21
"Grew longer than his twin brother’s. Though Scott’s telomeres returned to their pre-flight lengths"

How accurate are these measurements? If the telomeres returned to their pre-flight lengths, that makes it sound an awful lot like they didn't age over the course of that year. That seems like kind of a big deal.
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post #10 of 21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mookster View Post

"Grew longer than his twin brother’s. Though Scott’s telomeres returned to their pre-flight lengths"

How accurate are these measurements? If the telomeres returned to their pre-flight lengths, that makes it sound an awful lot like they didn't age over the course of that year. That seems like kind of a big deal.

Yeah, I would love more details myself... telomeres are the measurement of age of our cells (I think)... this could be huge...
    
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