October 17, 2019 | 3:15 PM IST

Study on twin astronauts has interesting revelations on one with longest space stay

Scientists studying the only identical twin astronauts of Nasa -Mark and Scott Kelly- have got interesting findings, says a report. Mark and Scott were both sent on four space missions. While Marks lasted a little over a week Scott’s were just about a week missions except for the last one which lasted 342 days in 2015. Mark retired in 2011 and is presently running for Senate.

The study carried out on the twins has been published in Journal Science and is called ‘Identical Twins’.

The twins were monitored before, during and after the yearlong flight and the scientists came up with some curious observations and saw visible changes in Scott’s DNA. The length of Scott’s molecular caps found at the tip of each chromosome had actually increased which are signs of reverse aging. However, once back the telomere length got stabilized and some even got shorter, but it is not clear what caused them to lengthen. This change is a sign of increased risk of accelerated aging or age-related pathologies like cardiovascular disease and probable cancers, says a report.

A team led by Stuart Lee, lead scientist at biomedical contractor KBRwyle, set out to measure Scott Kelly’s carotid artery from down on the Earth’s surface. These measurements are conducted with ultrasounds, which Scott learned how to use before he set off for space. But it took some serious coaching to learn what to do while in a low-gravity environment.

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