Two Mountaineers finding ways to recreate NASA’s twin study

 

NASA had proudly published twin study which had been compared with astronaut Scott Kelly’s bodily functions with his identical twin brothers, is presently getting highlighted in one of the most forbidding environments on the Earth. As per the reports two of the experienced mountaineers are currently in the middle of a month-long expedition to Mount Everest. However, their twins are still staying at the sea level. Their main aim is to sequence the DNA as well as RNA from their white blood cells and after that search for the expected changes that might occur in gene expression.

The above project is one of the most popular high-altitude analyses ever done. It is a tough condition not because the Mountaineers are required to take samples of their blood, feces and even saliva under such cold climatic conditions at the height of more than 7 kilometers. The two members involve a 20-year old Matt Moniz and the 49-year old professional climber Mr.Willie Benegas. The team has already collected three blood samples, which involve one destination at the Everest’s Camp 3 which is at an altitude of 7300 meters.

This project was implemented based on NASA’s twin study, which examined the apparent changes in Kelly’s organs, immune functions, proteins, metabolites, and genes. He also spent a year inside the International Space Station which started on March 15. His twin brother’s name is Mark Kelly. He shares his brother’s DNA, and he also has past space experience.

The most interesting facts are that Scott Kelly found out changes in the expression of the genes in the earlier part of this year. NASA has also reported that 7% of such changes which include changes related to immune function, bone formation, DNA repair and lastly his body’s response to insufficient oxygen and unwanted levels of carbon dioxide that remained in his body for six months after his return to Earth.

However, experts believe that those changes which are evident in the body can lead to the conclusion that there is life in the orbit. Such changes could also be because he was leading such a stressful life in that period. Thus Moniz and Benegas were recruited to recreate such an environment. Although Everest is not the same as compared to International Space Station, lack of oxygen, freezing temperatures and most importantly strong emotions of being alone would create a similar stressful environment.