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IN SPACE, TELOMERES LENGTHEN…

You know me; I love to engage in high octane speculation, and when Mr. M.B. shared this article with me, I knew I had to talk about it, because the implications, if the results are replicated, could be quite significant to the current talk about extended human presence in space. NASA, it seems, has been interested in how prolonged presence in space affects the human genome, if at all. So it turned to two twins, Mark and Scott Kelly, to study such effects, particularly on Scott Kelly, who spent a year in space at the international space station.

This, as they say, is where it gets "very interesting." Here's the article:

First Genetic Results from Scott Kelly's Year in Space reveal DNA mysteries

So what caught my eye? As you might have guessed from the title of today's blog, it's telomeres:

As identical twins, the brothers are genetically very similar. However, researchers found that while he was in orbit, Scott's telomeres — the caps on the ends of chromosomes — grew longer than his twin brother's. Though Scott's telomeres returned to their pre-flight lengths shortly after he returned to Earth, these results were totally unexpected, since telomeres naturally shrink over the course of one's life, and the stresses of spaceflight are supposed to accelerate this. At least that was the idea.

"That is exactly the opposite of what we thought," Susan Bailey, a radiation biologist at Colorado State University, toldNature. (Emphases added)

What's interesting here, and what fuels my high octane speculation of the day, is that there is a school of thought that connects the shrinkage of human telomeres to human aging, i.e., that shrinking telomeres are contributory causes (among others) of human aging. Needless to say, it's a debatable proposition; shrinking telomeres could equally be an effect of aging rather than one of its contributory causes, but in any case, the discussion is there. And before I venture further out on to the twig of high octane speculation where the weight of speculation clearly exceeds the evidence adduced for it, it is also worth mentioning another profound caveat: a study of one man is hardly proof of a general phenomenon. If the phenomenon is repeated in others under the same or similar conditions, then it's not an accident.

But assuming, for the moment, that (1) it is a phenomenon and not an accident, and (2) that the shortening of telomeres is a causative factor in human aging, then the high octane speculative implications are clear: extended stay in space in low or zero gravity might actually contribute to a strengthening and lengthening of the telomeres and hence to human longevity. To be sure, the article points out that telomere lengthening can contribute to the development of pathologies, but under the theory that shortening is a causitive factor to aging and human health issues - as the article also implies with these statements, "John Charles, chief scientist at NASA's Human Research Program, said scientists are interested in telomere length during space travel because their erosion could cause health defects during long-term missions. It is critical to understand these potential health risks before sending astronauts on long voyages, such as one to Mars," (Emphases added) - then their lengthening in space could actually imply that human life extension is enhanced... in space.

Now, in case you think we've crawled out to the end of the twig, we haven't. We're still on the thin branch part, but not quite out on the end of the twig. But now we're going to go there. Under conventional evolutionary theory, beneficial mutations and adaptations are partly in response to environment. Now, while I have all sorts of philosophical problems with standard evolutionary theory, this little telomere story has me wondering: is this an indicator that mankind actually is evolutionarily suited to space? And if so, then why and how did he develop this genome response to the environment of space, if, as the theory holds, he evolved over the ages here on Earth?

See? I told you we were going to go out to the very end of the twig.

See you on the flip side...

23 thoughts on “IN SPACE, TELOMERES LENGTHEN…”

  1. From Lewis Mumford’s The City in History, 1961: “If we continue in science and technology along the lines we are now following, without changing our mechanisms toward more valid human goals, the end is already in sight. Cybernetics, medical psychiatry, artificial insemination, surgery and chemotherapy have given the rulers of men the power to create obedient automatons, under remote control, with just enough mind left to replace the machine when its cost would be prohibitive. The polite name for this creature is “man-in-space,” but the correct phrase is “man out of his mind,” p. 176, “Citizen Versus Ideal City.”

  2. My first thoughts upon reading this were that there may be some basis to the “hormesis” theory of radiation.
    I have no personal opinion on the matter, one way or the other.
    But I do find it interesting that the scientist Susan Bailey, who was “surprised” is a radiation biologist.
    Superficially, this single case study would tend to support the theory of hormesis with regard to radiation exposure, IF longer telomeres are associated wit longer, healthier lives.
    That’s quite a few IFs but it’s my High Octane Speculation for today.

  3. There is quite a bit out there on longevity. The fountain of youth, sci-fi stories abound with characters who live long through some kind of technology, and cutting edge science that is trying to breach the age long poetic/born into death concept.
    From my perspective, I tend to think that we’ve been genetically manipulated in some or another; perhaps a number of times. These article would be some of the telltale signs of it.
    It is virtually impossible to understand how biology works outside the context of environment. Thus. we have a telltale clue here that precludes a switch on/off in space of telomeres. Was there a piece of dna that was snip out/or in? Is there another epigenetic switch[es] still waiting to be turned on/off?
    And most importantly:
    what does immortality do to one’s soul?

    1. Because there is something present that goes unaccounted for in most of these scenarios? There is the possibility that there is no flaw in the design of death?
      … that the soul[that undefined ubiquitous entity]
      exists in and of, a poetic symbiosis with death?

  4. It could also mean that some characteristic of living on Earth’s surface shortens them, making us biologically weaker. Part of the quarantine, perhaps?

    Put in context of strange psychic experiences people report having after leaving our gravity well, there may be some field effect shrouding Earth to dampen our natural capabilities – EM prison bars, as it were (more likely scalar).

    Supposedly, aluminum shields against some scalar effects. Could this be another reason why there is chemtrail spraying of that heavy metal going on? Is someone trying to disrupt our EM prison signal to break us out?

  5. A few months back I speculated that those Sumerian king lists actually derived from a pre cosmic war era when we lived on Mars due to the fact that Mar’s gravity is lower, and therefore there would be less telomere shrinking. IMHO the fair skinned races originated on Mars, and the darker skinned races, like Austrailian Aboriginals and Africans originated here on Earth. Other than viruses, the dark skinned races are not susceptible to many of the bacterial, parasitic, and fungal pathogens that whites are. Before anyone interprets this as some racist driven ideology, it’s important to note that the fair skinned, fair haired, Northern Europeans are the MOST genetically susceptible to these kinds of microorganisms and toxins. It comes down to HLA genetics and antigen presentation, 30% of white genetics can’t recognize and don’t know how to handle these foreign entities. Anyone notice the recent subtle promotion of mixed race couples on television lately? If whites that originate from Northern Europe don’t diversify their genome, they’ll be extinct in 100-200 years. Just my opinion, but what do I know.

  6. And then there is the meme that space exploration is bad for your health space senility anyone. So this study may prove is really good and may extend your life and be good for your health. As Buzz Lightyear motto to infinity and beyond lets start or exploration as soon as possible.

  7. Or, is this indicative of something else? If a secret space program does exist those who manage it may have known this already and are using this disclosure as a potential inducement to colonize space and continue their covert funding cycle. That civilization would now have the technology tree to complete the experiments with blazing speed while stealing the excess budget for it’s own covert agenda. It’s looking like the 15th century announcement of the “New World” all over again–and the calls by private corporations to help facilitate it’s settlement using their host’s government’s purse. I can see the advertisements now: “Come work in space. You’ll have a longer normal natural life with the chance to get much wealthier than before.” Better read the fine print before signing those contracts! Come to think of it, I may never think of Columbus Day the same again.

  8. Like Joseph, I tend to take ancient texts more literally. I believe the authors attempted to describe what they actually witnessed with the understanding they had when the texts were written. This puts an entirely different light on the understanding of ancient and antediluvian history. It is not even close to what we have been lead to believe it is and what the stonework left behind by those who created it indicates it is to anyone with even half a brain.
    This would go a long way toward explaining the lifespan of the ancient “gods” and their offspring with the humans with which they interbred. Since the ancient “gods” did not limit their interbreeding only to humanity, it also offers an understanding of where all those mythical creatures may have originated. The Sumerian account is not unique, it is mirrored world wide by every ancient culture which indicates, along with the megalithic structures, that this was a world wide phenomenon prior to the great flood and for a time afterward.
    To attempt to make a case for the lengthening of tolemers in space giving rise to longevity based on the results of a single individual is quite a stretch and not real science. While it is interesting to contemplate, more study needs to be made before we can draw any conclusions.

    1. The biggest proof against pre-historic high technology is lack of iron working and the stone age. Once you learn how to work iron you don’t forget it. If a high tech civilization existed it was a very small nation in Antarctica or some secret Island and very covetous with it’s technology.

      1. I respect you opinion, however, once you learn to work stone in the manner that the megaliths are worked, you tend not to forget that either. Any Iron work would have long ago rusted away, not so the stonework; after all, it’s built in stone. It was most definitely not done with copper chisels and stone hammers by the Egyptians, as we are lead to believe. The work is far too smooth and precise complete with machine tool markings on the stone.
        Just how much of our modern construction do you think would last as long as these have; certainly not for millennia, as these have.

        1. I wasn’t referring to ancient iron artifacts. The Mayans would still have iron when the Spanish found them if they ever possessed it in the first place and so would have the rest of the Americas The bronze and copper age never would have existed if iron ever existed before this period in Europe and Asia as well.

          1. Hi. The mayans had no iron work, no wheel(although they knew it existed). The civilisation That made their stoneworkwas long gonz before the olmecs turned up… Maybe some giants left behind.. The aztecs all told the spanish That giants buily their cities and roads. However… If a world wide catastrophe happened now i doubr any trace of our civiliston would remaun in 2000 years.

      2. I respect you opinion; however, once you learn to work stone in the manner that the megaliths are worked, you tend not to forget that either. Any Iron work would have long ago rusted away; not so the stonework; after all, it’s built in stone. It was most definitely not done with copper chisels and stone hammers by the Egyptians, as we are lead to believe. The work is far too smooth and precise complete with machine tool markings on the stone.
        Just how much of our modern construction do you think would last as long as these have; certainly not for numerous millennia.

  9. My “fleshed logos” is not corpse yet, but I am working on it. My high octane speculation is that the Giza Death Star Pipe Organ will prolong my earthly life, and prevent me from dying of boredom.

    Hopefully the Bach fugue-spinning will oscillate a rotten apple into oblivion of common core, and send Satan to the pit. Perhaps the pipe organ can do weather manipulation also, and cause levitation?

    1. While you are waiting for the GDSPO, you might content yourself with a few spins of Virgil Fox’s Heavy Organ. His “Live At The Fillmore East” features the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. Drop that vinyl onto the platter, let the needle fall into the groove, and prepare for the cones of your Bose 901s to shake your foundations. And speaking furthermore of pipe organs: I recently visited a Catholic church in a Nob Hill-type area. This place had beautiful stained glass, marble floors, a vaulted ceiling, and…or so I first thought…a magnificent set of floor-to-ceiling organ pipes. Upon close inspection, it turned out they were for just for show. I was almost miffed at the thought of so much work put into mere fakery, but then, you know, I realized….
      One last share–an ancient Chinese proverb, relayed to me by a wise man now departed: a rich man gives his wife grand piano. A wise man gives his wife an upright organ.

  10. What?? Science isnt working as we thought it would/should….. again.
    Ok, ‘m starting to feel like a broken record..

    This could very well be a reason as to why the earliest Sumer Kings lived for so long.. Once they descended the Kingship.. sorry once they descended Kingship from Heaven and set up shop on Earth.. They’d already evolved in space with Telomeres as long as my arm. Now I understand Enlil’s anger against the taking of Earth Women.. They were ruining their own gentic makeup. It had nothing to do with morality.

  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23512844

    So it seems that acquired hemochromatosis (phenotype) is associated with shortened telomore length whereas the HFE mutation (genotype) is not associated with shortened telomores.

    And a risk of iron overload is easily remedied by a bit of bloodletting.
    https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21829234-800-genetic-medicine-hints-at-bloodletting-for-astronauts/
    Is a bit of iron anemia alleviated by a bit of blood sucking of iron overloaded peoples?

    Could iron also be implicated in longevity in certain environments?

    http://www.space.com/29208-mars-life-search-iron-rocks.html

    “Second, iron may block certain enzymes that help break down organic material after the death of microorganisms. Third, iron can even chemically bind with organic molecules to help preserve them”

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