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Effects of Prolonged Spaceflight on DNA Methylation Age (DNAmAge)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

Aging is the single biggest risk factor for almost all human pathologies other than those caused by infections or due to congenital defects. DNA repair is hypothesized to be one of the processes that influence the epigenetic clock – the newest and most powerful measure of both chronological and biological age in humans. During spaceflight radiation causes DNA damage, which is repaired. Prolonged space flight therefore presents an unrivalled opportunity to address the question of whether DNA damage influences epigenetic age, which will increase our understanding of aging and is of interest to current and future space ventures.

Specific aims of this research include:

  1. Gain insight into the relationship between DNA damage caused by low earth orbit radiation and age-related epigenetic changes in humans including the epigenetic clock (Horvath, 2013).
  2. Obtain genome-wide DNA methylation data from humans pre- and post-spaceflight.
  3. Characterize DNA methylation changes associated with spaceflight.
  4. Describe genome-wide epigenetic changes associated with spaceflight in humans that can contribute to explain DNA methylation changes.

DNA damage
DNA methylation
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Data Information
Data Availability
Archiving in progress. Data is not yet available for this experiment.

DNA methylation
Epigenetic changes
Extravehicular activity

Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Expedition 63 04/17/2020 10/21/2020 187 days
Expedition 64 10/21/2020 04/16/2021 177 days
Expedition 65 04/16/2021 10/17/2021 184 days
Expedition 66 10/17/2021 03/30/2022 164 days

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Institutional Support
European Space Agency (ESA)
Proposal Date
Proposal Source