How Plants Protect Their DNA in Space

Background

The NASA Twins Study showed increased telomere length in astronaut Scott Kelly during spaceflight.

Experiment

Researchers analysed samples of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana grown on the International Space Station (ISS).

Challenges

Analyzing limited and precious samples from space. Dissecting microgravity-grown plants due to entangled roots and shoots.

Findings

This suggests potential additional roles for telomerase beyond telomere maintenance.

Future investigations

Understanding the reasons behind uncoupled telomerase activity and its potential functions.