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Living in space appears to reverse key ageing processes, study finds


· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

An astronaut who spent nearly a year in the International Space Station experienced changes to his body which appeared to reverse one of the key ageing processes, according to new research.


Scott Kelly, who has an identical twin who is a retired astronaut, spent 340 days on the space station in 2015 and 2016. Scientists used the opportunity to monitor changes in Kelly’s body compared to those experienced by his brother Mark.


A key indicator for ageing is how the ends of the chromosomes behave. These tips are called telomeres. As one ages, the telomeres shrink, but Kelly’s telomeres became longer. However, after his return to Earth they began to shrink again like his twin.


Scientists are quick to point out that the effect might have been less about being in space and more about a reduced caloric load and increase in physical activity, but for now they still can’t be sure.


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