Actually, astronaut Scott Kelly's DNA did not change while he was in space

As it turns out, astronaut Scott Kelly’s DNA didn’t really change.

It was widely reported last week, that following a year-long expedition to the International Space Station — twice the length of an astronaut’s average term — Kelly’s DNA underwent a 7 percent change, making him no longer identical to his twin.

Dr. Susan Bailey, a professor at the Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences at Colorado State University, is now confirming that the information is untrue.

"If 7 percent of his genes changed, not only would he not be a twin, he wouldn’t be a human," Bailey told InsideEdition.com. "That is ridiculous."

Photos from Kelly's space walks: 

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Scott Kelly space walks
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Scott Kelly space walks

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "Day 212 Getting my game face on for #spacewalk Thanks for sticking w me #GoodNight from @space_station! #YearInSpace"

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): On the grid! Back from #spacewalk & tweet ability down. Real-life lesson in importance of connectivity. #YearInSpace

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "#SpaceWalkSelfie Back on the grid! Great first spacewalk yesterday. Now on to the next one next week. #YearInSpace"

Scott Kelly (‏@StationCDRKelly): "Teamwork! @astro_kjell and I working outside @Space_Station with @Astro_Kimiya inside getting us safely out the door"

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "Coming back in yesterday. Still trying to wrap my head around why we call it #spacewalk, not spacework. #YearInSpace"

Scott Kelly (‏@StationCDRKelly): "#FlashBackFriday Last Friday #spacewalk. Seems like I've held this position all week but on the inside. #YearInSpace"

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): "#ThrowbackThursday I admit, last week I took a #selfie at work. #YearInSpace" 

Expedition 45 commander Scott Kelly and flight engineer Kjell Lindgren prepare their extravehicular mobility unit spacesuits and tools in the Quest airlock. Kelly and Lindgren will use the spacesuits for two upcoming spacewalks outside the International Space Station on Oct. 28 and Nov. 6, 2015. (Photo via NASA)
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She explained the original report came from NASA’s Twin Study, to compare what happened to Scott Kelly while he was in space, with what happened to his identical twin brother, Mark, who remained on Earth. They called it the "perfect nature versus nurture study."

In the original study, NASA discussed that Kelly’s gene expression changed while in space. While 97 percent of gene expression returned to normal immediately upon his return, 7 percent of his gene expression remained the way it had been while in space.

“It was not 7 percent of his genes or the DNA, but a very different thing, and that is the genes themselves that are expressed,” Bailey explained. “They make proteins that are the workhorses of the body. That changes, the expression of those genes change all the time, every day, in all of us. From exercise, from stress, from all kinds of different things.”

But, the study was misinterpreted.

NASA updated the statement the same afternoon major news organizations picked up on the misinformation, stating clearly, “Mark and Scott Kelly are still identical twins; Scott’s DNA did not fundamentally change,” but it was too late.

The incorrect information spread like wildfire.

“The true story isn’t near as interesting as the fake news story was,” Bailey explained. “That’s basically what happened and it just all got blown out of proportion.”

She said she is now working with NASA to continue interpreting the results of the Twins Study, one that is clearly easy to misinterpret.

Although the story became quickly misconstrued, Bailey said that on the bright side, it demonstrated that the public is eager to learn more about what happens in space.

“And, it would be a very bad thing if he came back, you know, some kind of mutant,” Bailey joked.

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Astronaut Scott Kelly returns to Earth
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Astronaut Scott Kelly returns to Earth
Members of NASA support team help International Space Station (ISS) crew member Scott Kelly of the U.S. to get off a helicopter on arrival from the landing site at the airport of the town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on March 2, 2016. US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko returned to Earth on March 2 after spending almost a year in space in a ground-breaking experiment foreshadowing a potential manned mission to Mars. AFP PHOTO / POOL / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP / POOL / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV (Photo credit should read KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)
Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly of NASA rests in a chair outside of the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft just minutes after he and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov of Roscosmos landed in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 (Kazakh time). Kelly and Kornienko completed an International Space Station record year-long mission to collect valuable data on the effect of long duration weightlessness on the human body that will be used to formulate a human mission to Mars. Volkov returned after spending six months on the station. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
International Space Station (ISS) crew member Scott Kelly of the U.S. shows a victory sign after landing near the town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on March 2, 2016. US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko returned to Earth on March 2 after spending almost a year in space in a ground-breaking experiment foreshadowing a potential manned mission to Mars. AFP PHOTO / POOL / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP / POOL / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV (Photo credit should read KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)
Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko, left, Sergey Volkov of Roscosmos, center, and Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly of NASA, rest in chairs outside of the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft just minutes after they landed in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 (Kazakh time). Kelly and Kornienko completed an International Space Station record year-long mission to collect valuable data on the effect of long duration weightlessness on the human body that will be used to formulate a human mission to Mars. Volkov returned after spending six months on the station. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos is carried into a medical tent after he and Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly of NASA and Russian cosmonaut Sergey Volkov landed in their Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 (Kazakh time). Kelly and Kornienko completed an International Space Station record year-long mission to collect valuable data on the effect of long duration weightlessness on the human body that will be used to formulate a human mission to Mars. Volkov returned after spending six months on the station. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly of NASA rests in a chair outside of the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft just minutes after he and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov of Roscosmos landed in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 (Kazakh time). Kelly and Kornienko completed an International Space Station record year-long mission to collect valuable data on the effect of long duration weightlessness on the human body that will be used to formulate a human mission to Mars. Volkov returned after spending six months on the station. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
Russian cosmonaut Sergey Volkov of Roscosmos is carried into a medical tent after he and Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly of NASA and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko landed in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 (Kazakh time). Kelly and Kornienko completed an International Space Station record year-long mission to collect valuable data on the effect of long duration weightlessness on the human body that will be used to formulate a human mission to Mars. Volkov returned after spending six months on the station. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
International Space Station (ISS) crew member Scott Kelly of the U.S. reacts after landing near the town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on March 2, 2016. US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko returned to Earth on March 2 after spending almost a year in space in a ground-breaking experiment foreshadowing a potential manned mission to Mars. AFP PHOTO / POOL / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP / POOL / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV (Photo credit should read KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)
Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos rests in a chair outside of the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft just minutes after he and Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly of NASA and Russian cosmonaut Sergey Volkov landed in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 (Kazakh time). Kelly and Kornienko completed an International Space Station record year-long mission to collect valuable data on the effect of long duration weightlessness on the human body that will be used to formulate a human mission to Mars. Volkov returned after spending six months on the station. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
A search and rescue team works at the site of landing of the Soyuz TMA-18M space capsule near the town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on March 2, 2016. US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko returned to Earth on March 2 after spending almost a year in space in a ground-breaking experiment foreshadowing a potential manned mission to Mars. AFP PHOTO / POOL / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP / POOL / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV (Photo credit should read KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)
Russias Soyuz TMA-18M space capsule carrying the International Space Station (ISS) crew of US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergei Volkov lands in a remote area outside the town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on March 2, 2016. US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko returned to Earth on March 2 after spending almost a year in space in a ground-breaking experiment foreshadowing a potential manned mission to Mars. AFP PHOTO / POOL / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP / POOL / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV (Photo credit should read KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)
The Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft is seen as it lands with Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly of NASA and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov of Roscosmos near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 (Kazakh time). Kelly and Kornienko completed an International Space Station record year-long mission to collect valuable data on the effect of long duration weightlessness on the human body that will be used to formulate a human mission to Mars. Volkov returned after spending six months on the station. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
The Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft is seen as it lands with Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly of NASA and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov of Roscosmos near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 (Kazakh time). Kelly and Kornienko completed an International Space Station record year-long mission to collect valuable data on the effect of long duration weightlessness on the human body that will be used to formulate a human mission to Mars. Volkov returned after spending six months on the station. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly hugs his crewmates goodbye on the International Space Station on March 1, 2016. Photo credit: NASA
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly with his crewmates on the International Space Station on March 1, 2016. Photo credit: NASA
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly hugs his crewmates goodbye on the International Space Station on March 1, 2016. Photo credit: NASA
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly hugs his crewmates goodbye on the International Space Station on March 1, 2016. Photo credit: NASA
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly hugs his crewmates goodbye on the International Space Station on March 1, 2016. Photo credit: NASA
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