The effects of a space mission on our epigenetics

By Paula Peixoto - Crew Biologist & Health and Safety Officer

One of the most interesting and controversial topics about life in space is the modification of the DNA expression due to external and internal environmental factors: epigenetics. Microgravity, food, pressure, hydration and changes on sleep patterns are common factors that usually alters epigenetics. Our proposal is focused on studying day by day the differences on our own regulation machinery by analyzing genes related to circadian cycle, bone formation and muscle maturation. In order to accomplish this assessment, blood samples will be collected everyday and freeze to analyze them once back in Earth. Moreover, we will keep an exhaustive control of our physical and health conditions by measuring blood pressure, weight and body fat index.