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Can we make a potato that grows on Mars and cures cancer? Tonight’s speakers might have the answer! We will discuss plants that have supported the native communities in the Bay Area for thousands of years, a history of cancer and the discoveries helping us to live longer and what happens to our brains in space.
A History of Cancer
Dr. John Lee (Contra Costa Regional Medical Center)
A focus on interesting milestones, serendipitous discoveries, misleading interpretations and fascinating connections to the more general history of medicine. Acknowledgement: Much of the above was extracted from “The Emperor of all Maladies” by Siddhartha Mukherjee, oncologist.
Ethnobotany: The cultural, spiritual, culinary and medicinal use of endemic plants
Bethallyn Black (Professor at Diablo Valley College, Horticulture and Plant Science)
Ethnobotanical history of Bay Area Plants: an overview of the plants that supported native communities for thousands of years.
Challenges and surprises in predicting the effects of deep space travel on brain function in male and female astronauts
Andrew J. Wyrobek (Senior Scientist, Genetics and Biophysics, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)
The international space station continues to be an important platform for the development of space technologies and for understanding the effects space travel on human biology and performance. However, the ISS orbits within the Van Allen magnetic belts which protects ISS astronauts from most of the deep space radiation that would be encountered on future trips to the moon and Mars. This talk will overview examples of ground-based research on rodents for predicting the effects of deep space radiation on the brain function, behavior, and long-term risks for neurological diseases in astronauts.