The fountain of youth? Astronaut returns from outer space “younger” than his twin brother

Image capture of video by Discovery Channel via YouTube
  • Scientists revealed that an American astronaut had returned from outer space younger than his twin brother
  • Scott Kelly was subjected to different tests after he landed back on Earth after staying in outer space
  • Scott’s telomeres grew longer than his brother’s before shrinking back after a few months on Earth
  • Telomeres are associated with aging and longer telomeres are associated with longevity

WASHINGTON, USA – Many might find this news interesting, especially those who believe in the possibility of finding a source of eternal youth.

Scientists revealed that an American astronaut had returned from outer space seemingly looking younger than his twin brother.

Fiona Simpson mentioned in her article for Evening Standard that 52-year-old astronaut Scott Kelly was subjected to different tests after he landed in Kazakhstan last year after spending 340 days in space.

As part of the study, the same tests were also conducted on Scott’s twin brother, Mark.

Results of the tests revealed Scott to be 2 inches taller and 15 pounds lighter than when he traveled into space.

An article by Oliver Moody for The Times said that the researchers have discovered a growth in Scott’s telomeres – repetitive sequences at each end of a chromosome.

Normally, telomeres typically shrink with age, but in Scott’s case, his telomeres grew longer than his brother’s before shrinking back after a few months on Earth.

Erik Mack said in his article for CNET that telomeres are associated with aging and longer telomeres are associated with longevity. It was a surprising discovery for scientists to find that the stress of long-term space travel did not seem to negatively affect Scott Kelly’s telomeres.

“It may be because the astronauts exercise extremely regularly on the International Space Station (ISS),” said Christopher Mason, the assistant professor of physiology and biophysics at Cornell Weill Medicine in New York.

“On Earth, you might go to the gym on Tuesday and then decide you can’t be bothered on Thursday and go to the pub, but you can’t do that on the ISS. Food and exercise are very controlled and you don’t have so many margaritas,” Mason added.

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