US space agency NASA has released the last video of its twin study series that investigated metabolic changes in retired US astronaut Scott Kelly and his twin brother Mark.
NASA selected a series of investigations to conduct with identical twin astronauts Scott and Mark.
The findings will provide broader insight into the subtle effects and changes that may occur in spaceflight as compared to Earth by studying two individuals who have the same genetics but are in different environments for one year.
The video titled “Omics: Advancing Personalized Medicine from Space to Earth” which was released coinciding with National Twins Days (August 5), is the last in a series of eight videos which explores space through you by using “omics” to look more closely at the unique health of an individual.
Omics integrates multiple biological disciplines to focus on measurements of a diverse array of biomolecules.
It combines genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, epigenomics, metabolomics and microbiomes to see a larger, more comprehensive picture of the human body at a fundamental, highly granular level, NASA said in a statement.
The study compares nearly identical genomes of one twin, Scott, on a defined diet, strict exercise regime, scripted daily work schedule, and space stressors, and Mark, the other twin, on Earth engaged in normal life.
The identical genome comparison allows researchers to focus on the other molecular effects of the integrated spaceflight environment.
Researchers see more molecular reactions between biomolecules than ever before.
“I am confident omics will be part of upcoming International Space Station missions and the Mars missions. The potential for this research is valuable in terms of understanding what happens to astronauts in space flight,” said John Charles, NASA’s Human Research Program Chief Scientist.
“Additionally, new approaches and techniques we learn from the Twins Study can be used more directly with great benefit to NASA researchers and crews and hopefully to patients here on Earth,” Charles added.