View Full Version : NASA report on DNA change in space.

Michael Weber
03-14-2018, 10:27 PM
Wow. Pretty profound implications of long term space travel.

Bill Dufour
03-15-2018, 9:42 AM
I wonder if the same is true for commercial airline pilots, stewards who also get a higher cosmic ray exposure. I do know that pilots have higher rates of certain eye diseases due to cosmic ray damage.

Malcolm Schweizer
03-15-2018, 2:45 PM
I saw this and due to time I had to skim the article, but it's very interesting, and also- what are the chances of getting a long-term astronaut that also happens to have a twin brother? I want to see a lot more of this study. We watch the space station pass over whenever it's coming over at a decent hour. With our limited light pollution you can see it plain as day as long as it's twilight or later. In fact, the best time to see it is immediately before sunrise or after sunset so that there is a glare off it, and it lights up really bright. It's amazing to see it go by and to just think of what you're looking at, and that they are looking down at you.

I travel a lot- nearly a million miles with American, and if you total all the other airlines probably I've got about 1.5 million miles. I always wonder what that's doing to my body. Have you ever noticed that most pilots have a touch of grey below their hat line? Perhaps it's more than coincidence.

Jerome Stanek
03-15-2018, 3:35 PM
I would like them to compare his DNA before he went and then after to get a true reading

Pat Barry
03-15-2018, 6:29 PM
I just want to know if the DNA is now improved or has gone the other way.

Bill Orbine
03-15-2018, 8:45 PM
It seems the DNA change is taken out of context: https://www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2018/3/15/17124312/nasa-twins-study-dna-scott-kelly-international-space-station

Bill Dufour
03-15-2018, 11:12 PM
I think it is cataracts that air crew get from time at high altitude.
Bill D.


roger wiegand
03-16-2018, 8:43 AM
Full of sound and fury, signifying little or nothing. More sound and fury the farther you get away from the original data, as is typical for press offices desperate for a headline. I will wait until the paper is actually published to see what I believe or not.

They are talking about changes in gene expression, not changes in genes. The amount of change they are talking about is completely consistent with what I might expect to see in the same individual a year apart, or between twins a year apart, especially if that year has been one of extreme difference in diet and activity. Indeed, it is not unlike what you see in day-to-day variation due either to actual changes or experimental variability. You'd need to repeat the experiment at least ten times to even measure such changes reliably, and they obviously only did it once. (I used to do this stuff for a living, I know exactly how hard it is to prove a real change-- humans are terrible experimental animals to work with!)

I'll reserve judgement on the science until the paper comes out (I'll bet it doesn't say what the press releases say it does), but would caution anyone against worrying too much about what any university or agency press release says about a scientific finding. Look at the data (or at least the conclusions in the actual paper) if you want to understand what's going on!

Michael Weber
03-16-2018, 10:25 AM
Roger is right. I jumped the gun on this based on the headline. I could just imagine humans leaving earth and after a few generations becoming something different. Since environment determines evolution its possible I suppose with enough time, but the headline and story were a bit sensationalized and I got excited:eek:.

Phil Mueller
03-16-2018, 9:08 PM
I must admit that I like seeing a little grey hair on the pilot when I step onto the plane. Even if the grey comes from some cosmic rays, it makes me feel better.

Chase Mueller
03-28-2018, 3:36 PM
I must admit that I like seeing a little grey hair on the pilot when I step onto the plane. Even if the grey comes from some cosmic rays, it makes me feel better.

I must admit, you sure do have a lovely last name :D

Grant Wilkinson
03-28-2018, 7:07 PM
On a local to me talk show, I heard an interview with a scientists warning about taking this story at face value. For me, an interesting observation by this scientist was that similar DNA changes have been observed in scuba divers.