SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE GENETIC CHANGES SEEN IN EVEREST CLIMBERS AND ASTRONAUTS
The world is certainly obsessed with what outer space holds. From Hollywood to novelists everyone wants to get their hands on a good story that intrigues every reader and watcher to be submerged in their theories. To have a better look at how things work in outer space NASA held an experiment including a set of twins to research the extreme conditions outer space has to offer regarding gene expressions. Involved in this experiment were a set of twins, one who was a Space Station resident named Scott Kelly, and the other was his brother who was settled on earth. Over one year, NASA studied that Scott Kelly had undergone a gene change of 8.9%. These changes did not revert to normal even after 6 months of landing back on earth.
This twin study naturally gained a lot of attention and got the same team to publish new findings on how the human body adapts to the extreme conditions it is presented with under certain environments. The team at Weill Cornell Medicine put together a binding of 30 pages to answer the question of how the human body genetically adapts to the different environments on earth. The research was led by Dr. Mason, in his words, the team wanted to see how the human body would react to an environment that is low in oxygen and requires high endurance. They also wanted to see how they could create similar circumstances present in the NASA twin study when applied to conditions present on earth.
To find answers to these questions another set of twins took the challenge to conquer the most terrifying heights to exist, Mount Everest. They left each of their twins in opposite situations at sea levels. They were packed with a month of supplies, the participants Matthew Moniz and Willie Benegas took the 29,000-foot climb and collected samples of stool, saliva, and blood along the way. The other set settled at sea level, Kaylee Moniz and Damian Benegas carried life on normally and took the same samples from themselves for finding results.
To make sure they had the right equipment to store their samples in the most optimal conditions while being presented with the harshest ones themselves, they used Zymo Research’s DNA/RNA Shield Collection Devices to obtain the most accurate results in their biological quest.
These collection devices helped in keeping the samples safe from the pressure changes and extreme weather conditions present on the mountain, stated Dr. Mason. To further protect the samples they killed off any external contaminating and infectious agents. These factors helped to remove any manipulative challenges that came along in collecting samples from such extreme environments.
The results which had been obtained from the study that involved the Moniz and Benegan’s twins happened to be similar to the gene expression changes which were found in NASA’s twin study. These changes were studied in Dr. Mason’s lab.
Dr. Mason then continued to explain that the results have shown that the human body reacts by producing the same cytokines on Mount Everest as it did in space flight.
The most essential finding in this study explained how scientists and doctors can use the same type of treatments and medications to cure and treat astronauts and people affected by extreme conditions as they would mountain climbers.
WHAT LIES AHEAD
These findings do not only apply to mountain climbers and astronauts. These are not limited to such circumstances. The team also found that the gene transformation which was experienced by the climbers and the astronauts was also seen in the patients which were hospitalized for COVID-19.
The new findings are essential in helping people who are hospitalized for contracting COVID-19. These technologies can help in the future to understand the patients of COVID-19 and their gene formation as well as future supervision of mountain climbers. The stressful genetic formation like interleukin 6 was seen in patients suffering from the virus as well as the climbers who faced the conditions explained by Dr. Mason.
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