After spending 342 consecutive days onboard the International Space Station from 2015 to 2016, astronaut Scott Kelly now holds the
for longest single space mission by an American. But his \”One-Year\” study with NASA was about more than breaking records: Its purpose was to show how prolonged time in orbit would effect Kelly\’s genetic makeup compared to that of his identical twin brother on Earth. Now, following recent evaluations of the two men, it appears that Scott Kelly and his brother Mark are no longer genetically identical, reports. NASA the most recent findings from its ahead of a more comprehensive paper combining the work of multiple teams of researchers that is slated for later in 2018. Like his brother Scott, Mark is also an astronaut, making the pair the only twin astronauts in history. So when NASA was looking for a way to study the long-term effects of space life, the siblings were a perfect fit. As Scott was sending and on the ISS, Mark stayed on Earth to serve as the control. Biological samples taken from both subjects before, during, and after the space flight showed some dramatic differences.
According to an investigation conducted by Susan Bailey of Colorado State University, Scott\’s telomeres, the protective \”cap\” at the ends of chromosomes that shorten as we age, got longer in space. The telomeres began shrinking back to preflight levels, however, a few days after Scott\’s return to Earth. Scott was subjected to regular exercise and a restricted diet aboard the ISS, so the new lifestyle may explain the sudden telomere boost. Other genetic differences stuck around even months after landing. \”Although 93 percent of genes expression returned to normal post-flight, a subset of several hundred \’space genes\’ were still disrupted after return to Earth,\” acccording to a NASA. About 7 percent of Scott\’s genes may show longer-term changes, included the genes associated with DNA repair, immune health, bone formation, hypoxia (an oxygen deficiency in the tissues) and hypercapnia (excessive carbon dioxide in the bloodstream). A long list of factors, like radiation, caloric restriction, and zero gravity, may have contributed to the results.
NASA plans to use these findings to develop countermeasures against these effects, which will be essential if the agency plans to send humans to Mars, a journey that could take three times as long as Scott Kelly\’s ISS mission. [h/t ] Floating and sinking is a fun science concept for children to explore. P Setting up a Floating and Sinking Learning Tray will invite them to play, experiment and explore how and why different objects float and sink when placed into water. What you will need? To set up this learning tray, you will need a large container filled with water, 2 containers to sort floating and sinking objects and a range of floating and sinking objects. ThePobjects we included for this science activity was: a large rock, bottle top, wodden peg, pop stick, feather, coin, key, gem stone, button, shell and a leaf. You can download and print the labels here: Place one item into the water at a time. P Does it float or sink? P Place the object into the corresponding labelled container.
Talk about why some objects sank and others didnt. Discuss the weight, size and material the object is made of and how this influences the floating ability. Talk about why there were bubbles when some objects sank. Read books about floating and sinking. Bottles tops are great for floating when turned over both ways. P Can a bottle top hold a small stone and still float? Search around the house forPmore objectsPto test if theyPcan float and sink. After experimenting with the different objectsPfloating and sinking, allow some time for your child to play freely with the water, containers and objects. P Add other toys such as cars and characters to the play opportunity. P Kids absolutely love to play with water! Language development: Using descriptivePwords to express ideas and opinions. Make connections with real lifePexperiences. Promote scientific thinking:Ppredictions, observations, comparison, reasoning, data gathering, experimentation and evaluation For more Science Activities and Ideas