Three years ago, scientists in United States (US) embarked (started) on an unusual experiment. Astronaut Scott Kelly was going up in space for an extended period of time and scientists decided to study whether space travel altered human genes by comparing what happened to Scott’s genes with those of his twin Mark Kelly, who would stay back on Earth.
It was the first time such a study was attempted. Now after Scott’s return, NASA has run its tests and come up with the results-the genes remain the same but the twins’ gene expression has changed. Gene expression refers to the activity of his cells using that same genetic code, in deciding when and what proteins to manufacture. Such changes of expression have also been noticed when people do scuba diving and mountain climbing. Once Scott came back to Earth, his gene expression changed back to the original. So Scott and Mark Kelly remain identical twins for now!
Did you know?
Genes are part of the cells of all human beings and they contain instructions followed by the body for growth. Genes impart the instructions to the cell for manufacturing different kinds of proteins used by the body.