Impact of space travel on astronauts revealed


  • Scientists have found no major epigenetic differences in astronaut Scott Kelly, who spent a year in space aboard the International Space Station, and his twin brother, Mark Kelly, who remained on Earth.
  • Epigenetic changes involve chemical tweaks to DNA that can influence gene activity.
  • The changes affect when and how a gene is read, or expressed, for its protein-encoding instructions.


  • Space travel caused herpes viruses to reactivate in more than half of crew aboard Space Shuttle and International Space Station (ISS), according to a NASA study.
  • This finding could jeopardise mankind’s future missions to Mars and beyond.
  • While only a small proportion develops symptoms, virus reactivation rates increase with spaceflight duration and could present a significant health risk on future missions.
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