Humanity is on the verge of active learning.deep space, and in the near future, as we are promised by space agencies from around the world, the first manned missions to Mars will start. Therefore, the urgent issue is to study the effects on the body of astronauts long stay in outer space. The difficulty in studying this issue lies in the individual characteristics of each person.
NASA has conducted a unique experimentTwins Study, which was attended by two astronauts - twins Mark and Scott Kelly (Mark and Scott Kelly), who spent 54 and 520 days in space, respectively. In 2015-2016, Mark remained on Earth, while his twin brother Scott was in orbit and made a 340-day flight to the ISS.
Upon the return of Scott to Earth, were studiedgene activity, bone density, immune system functioning, brain performance and intestinal microflora. After analyzing the data obtained before and after the flight, the main conclusion was made that being in space affects the aging process of the body. After being in space, Scott transformed DNA - the end sections of chromosomes (telomeres), responsible for cell division, were lengthened. The telomeres returned to their normal state only six months after the astronaut returned to Earth.
Another important discovery was the identificationinfluence of space on the expression of genes, their interaction with the environment. It turned out that some genes underwent irreversible changes, and their expression was not restored even after a long stay on Earth at the end of space flight. In addition, Scott Kelly's cognitive abilities decreased, the eyeballs became somewhat deformed, and skin thickened on the forehead.
The received data will continue intently.study, and scientists hope to get more information about the effects of space on the aging process. In the meantime, according to NASA, mutations in the human body from a long stay in space are insignificant, which will not prevent them from sending volunteers to the Moon and Mars. By the way, during the experiment it was found that the flu vaccine works in space as effectively as it does on Earth.