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Russia may use genetic method to select cosmonauts in future

December 29, 2018, 13:39 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Today the person’s health condition, the body’s reserves and its reaction to extreme impacts are basically scrutinized to select cosmonauts, the researcher said

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© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

MOSCOW, December 29. /TASS/. A genetic approach may be used in the future to select cosmonauts, Deputy Director of the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems within the Russian Academy of Sciences Lyudmila Buravkova said on Saturday.

"As for genetic research, two large platforms or two large areas can be singled out. The first area is the research into the human’s genetics from the viewpoint of using it in the selection… The second area is the attempt to remedy genetic errors as much as this should be done before a flight," the researcher pointed out.

Today the person’s health condition, the body’s reserves and its reaction to extreme impacts are basically scrutinized to select cosmonauts, the researcher said.

"We can take a deeper look to see what is there at the genetic level," the scientist noted, adding that in this case the main thing is not to make a mistake because a human’s genetics is very complex and plastic.

Any healthy person may have faulty genes that are offset by others, Buravkova said.

"There is no doubt that this has to be studied. It is now being discussed to what extent this needs to be used because you can’t reject and exclude from the cosmonauts’ team a cosmonaut in whom some gene has been found but this gene is offset," the researcher said.

Scientists are planning to start using the genetic approach in the selection of biological species, the institute’s deputy director said.

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