Do Black People Possess A Gene That Makes Them More Fit For Space Travel?

Okay, don’t call me crazy… yet.

I recall reading an article in one of the Chicago daily papers that detailed a scientific discovery that black people possess a gene that made them better fit for space travel.

If my memory serves me well, the gene somehow slowed bone deterioration during long-term weightless situations.

I read this at least 12 years ago and no longer have the clipping, but I’d appreciate any insight from you smart folks here.

Can anyone corroborate this “memory”?

I know of no gene unique to black people. So I guess I’d vote “no”.


No more Jimmy the Greek now that we really need him.

errr, maybe the question should be “Is there some allele that makes you more fit for space travel that’s more common among blacks than non-blacks”?

In order to answer the OP, it would be necessary to define “Black people”.

Good luck…

However, I would suspect that some humans would have some genetic advantage wrt to space travel. Probably along the lines of those who are better at some sports due to their genetic makeup.

Well, one definition of “Black people” would be those that have dark skin.

Given that, it might be possible that the extra pigmentation would serve as a kind of protection against certain rays or radiation that you might experience in space. Just guessin’.

Best guess again. The amount of radiation in space one may be exposed to requires lead shielding to protect a person, not melanin.

Blacks are the least likely group to suffer from osteoporosis, and as a whole have a greater peak bone mass; so boawso, you probably really did read that article and are not going crazy.

Eric Frank Russell, in one of his stories, had the everyone in the medical branch of the Space Patrol (forgive me if I do not recall the exact terms he used) be of African descent. This was because Blacks did not get “space sick” as do European, Asian, or Martian spacers.

Jay Score was published in 1941.

It had been believed in the past that people with sub-saharan ancestry had a tendency to have less osteoporosis. Subsequent studies have shown that this tendency is much less consistant than previously thought. And attempts to link bone mineral density to a specific gene are not panning out. Try googling “bone mineral density” and “african” for tons of cites.

Since boawso is referring to a 12-year-old article, this might be what he was recalling.

How else would you explain Lando. I mean the man freaking owns space.

Qadgop is correct that attempts to link bone mineral density to a specific gene are not panning out, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t such a gene. Blacks have a higher bone mineral density than whites; this may be gene related; it may not be, but I’d bet it is.

Maybe so. But I bet it’s not related to only one gene, but multiple genes. And I bet it’ll be found in a few selected populations, but not across the board in “blacks” (which means little genetically).

Yes, you are correct. This came up on another forum elsewhere. I’m afraid I can’t provide a link.

The only people who’ve been really shown to have any advantage in space that I know of is short(er) people. They have fewer negative effects from the lower atmospheric pressures typically used, and get motion sickness less, statistically speaking. So I’d guess Pygmies would have an easier time in space on average, and would cost less fuel to lift into space to boot.

I guess this makes me poor astronaut material, I’m a tall skinny white boy who gets motion sickness and light-headed driving up a mountian road.