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(AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky). U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly, right, crew member of the mission to the International Space Station, ISS, poses through a safety glass with his brother, Mark Kelly, also an astronaut

Scott Kelly spent one year in space. Here's how it changed his DNA.


NASA astronaut Scott Kelly broke the record for the longest consecutive amount of time spent in space by an American, and scientists recently discovered that his time wandering the galaxy changed his DNA. 

The so-called Twins Study compared the DNA of Scott Kelly with that of his identical twin brother, Mark Kelly, who remained on Earth while his brother embarked on a year-long space expedition. As identical twins, the brothers share the same DNA, allowing scientists to determine if, and how, space changes the human body.

The brothers shared biological samples before, during and after Kelly's expedition.

It was already known that Kelly grew two inches taller, but the results of the Twins Study revealed much more minute, USA Today reported.

Lengthened chromosomes and slowed bone formation were just a few of conclusions reached by the Twins Study. Scott's cognitive abilities in speed and accuracy slowed slightly after the space mission, while two bacterial groups were more prevalent in Scott when he was in space than when he was on Earth, the study added.

More data is expected to be released in the next few months. But, because of privacy concerns, the twins negotiated rights to review information before it is published in case it contains sensitive material they wish to keep private, according to PBS.


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