How a year in space affected the bacteria in Scott Kelly’s gut

Ten teams of researchers are poring over the data collected for NASA’s Twins study — an experiment to see how a year in space affected the health of astronaut Scott Kelly, compared to the health of his identical twin Mark who stayed on Earth. One of those research groups, from Northwestern University, have been focusing on the changes to Scott’s gut microbiome, the thousands of microbe species that live inside the GI tract and help with digestion. And they’ve found an interesting divergence between the two brothers’ bacteria, though they aren’t sure what these changes mean just yet.


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