It takes two: Psychologist, author talks twin studies and space genes

Nancy Segal (Photo courtesy of Segal)

Author and psychologist Nancy Segal says NASA’s twin study on astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly came up with the idea themselves to test genetics in space travel.  Segal describes this as a “simple and elegant experiment.” NASA’s study concluded that space affects how genes are expressed. For example, NASA concluded that 93 percent of Scott Kelly’s genes returned to normal after a year, but 7 percent of his gene expression was changed after he returned to Earth. Segal says space travel can impact psychological, biological and physical traits. Lifestyle and bone density can also play a factor.

Segal is a fraternal twin herself, so she personally understands the difference between fraternal and identical twins. She explains that identical twins have all genes in common and fraternal twins are the result of a woman releasing two eggs at the same time. This means that fraternal twins only share half of the same genes and are the same as ordinary siblings.

The author shares with Matt Bubala and listeners about how genetics can impact behavior, special ability, or even how social or aggressive a person is. Segal believes that predispositions do exist, because it allows someone to be less aggressive or more athletic, for example. Based on Segal’s research, she states that “parents do react to children based on their behavior.” Matt has fraternal 12 year old triplets. Segal says that the predispositions “come from the home environment. Children will gravitate toward certain elements in their home depending on who they are and what they like to do.”

For more information on Segal’s books and where to order them, visit her website.