Gene Trivia:Astronauts have genetic mutations in space?

【rumor】 According to media reports, NASA astronaut, one of the twins, returned to Earth three years later, and…

【rumor】


According to media reports, NASA astronaut, one of the twins, returned to Earth three years later, and scientists found that his carotid and retina thickened, his weight became lighter, and his cognitive ability declined during space. However, most of these symptoms gradually disappeared after returning to the Earth for half a year. Only “8.7% of the changes in the gene have not been restored so far.” This topic is still on the microblogging search, then, after a trip to space, a genetic mutation occurs. Is it really?

Gene Trivia:Astronauts have genetic mutations in space?
Gene Trivia:Astronauts have genetic mutations in space?

【the truth】

“The report said that 8.7% of DNA mutations are common sense errors, probably from the misunderstanding of the ‘gene expression’ part of the paper.” Dr. Zheng Yongchun, a researcher at the National Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, explained that astronauts lived in space for a long time. Later, due to changes in the space environment, symptoms such as thickening of the retina, decreased cognitive ability, and changes in the intestinal flora may occur, and some external gene expression may change. But the true genetic code, which is the intrinsic gene fragment, has not changed.

In the above study, the researchers analyzed changes in the expression of genes in Scott’s peripheral blood cells. They found that many genes did not change in space, but 91.3% of these changes were restored to the original state within six months of Scott’s return to Earth, leaving 8.7% of the remaining gene expression. Did not recover well. The expression of these genes affects the body’s immune processes such as immunity and metabolism. Whether the changes are good or bad and whether they can be fully recovered remains to be studied.

“Actually, people also have changes in gene expression in normal life. For example, a few nights will lead to changes in gene expression,” Zheng Yongchun said.

Obviously, what is said in the paper is the change in gene expression, not the change in the gene itself. Be aware that even a 1% change in the DNA of the human body is a terrible thing. After all, humans and chimpanzees are only 1.2% genetically different.

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