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January 30, 2019

Moon to Mars: Anticipating the Human Response to Space

Martha Vitaterna
Dept. of Neurobiology and Deputy Director of Northwestern’s Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology 

WEDNESDAY,  January 30, 2019
6:30—8:00 pm
The Firehouse Grill, 2nd Floor
750 Chicago Ave., Evanston 60202

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NASA is building a plan for Americans to once again set foot on the moon, and Martha Vitaterna’s gut instincts could play a central role. For the past five years, Vitaterna has worked closely with the space agency to produce novel understandings as to how space affects the thousands of species of bacteria — the microbiota — living inside the digestive tract, as well as implications for their mammalian “host”. “There’s a lot that goes into designing an experiment that will take place in near-zero gravity,” says Vitaterna. “There’s also the awe of watching astronauts conducting experiments as they float through the International Space Station, and the anxiety of awaiting results to analyze when they return to Earth.” Vitaterna will discuss her experiences working with NASA, the latest research results, and the next space-based project.