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The next PAS meeting is Friday July 14, 2017

7:30 pm, Room 5015, Foothill College

"Surviving space radiation: lessons from microorganisms"
by Dr. Ivan Paulino-Lima of NASA Ames Research Center (and Universities Space Research Association)

One of the biggest problems of interplanetary human missions and space settlement is the exposure of biological systems to high levels of cosmic radiation. Solving this problem will not only enable humans to reach Mars safely, but will unleash the path for planetary colonization in centuries to come.  On Earth, some organisms are able to proliferate normally under doses of radiation orders of magnitude higher than the lethal doses for humans. Many of them have actually been exposed to real space conditions on Low Earth Orbit (LEO), and survived! Scientists are constantly learning how they do that and are now starting to envision ways to transfer this capability to future astronauts and also many other applications here on Earth.  In this presentation, Dr. Paulino-Lima will give a general overview on the molecular mechanisms of radiation resistance and protection used by microorganisms and point to future directions in both fundamental and applied research.

Dr. Paulino-Lima is a Visiting Scientist at Universities Space Research Association (USRA), working at Dr. Lynn Rothschild's Synthetic Biology lab at NASA Ames Research Center, as a Co-I on the Eu:CROPIS satellite mission. During his postdoctoral research at NASA he characterized the intracellular concentration of elements involved in the survival of biological systems against radiations, namely manganese (Mn) and iron (Fe). He determined that the occurrence of Mn or Fe in the environment does not correlate with UV-C radiation resistance, but the intracellular Mn/Fe ratio does, as previously shown by other authors for laboratory strains using ionizing (high energy) radiation. A high diversity of UV-C resistant microbial isolates from deserts was identified for future use as new biological models of radiation resistance and potential application in different industries (e.g. food, pharmaceutics and cosmetics). Dr. Paulino-Lima is a biologist with a PhD degree in Biophysics from the University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Masters degree on Genetics and Molecular Biology from the State University of Londrina, Brazil. He is also an amateur astronomer, a member of our Peninsula Astronomical Society (PAS) and the President of "Grupo Regional de Astronomia de Marília (GRAMA)" in Brazil.

No Club Meeting in August (go see the eclipse!!)

Next Speaker on September 8 -- please check back for details.

 Location: Foothill College room 5015, next to Parking Lot 5
Bring $3 for a parking permit



The Peninsula Astronomical Society is a group of some 200 Bay Area astronomy enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds. Some members are professionally trained in astronomy, others are just starting and have never looked through a telescope before. One thing that we all have in common is an interest in the sky.

The PAS holds meetings on the second Friday of each month at 7:30 pm on the campus of Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA (between San Jose and Palo Alto).  The meetings are usually held in Room 5015, next to Parking Lot 5 (see map). Each meeting features a speaker (or speakers) bringing us up to date on different topics in astronomy. The public is welcome to attend these meetings; there is no charge to attend.  Note, however, that there is a $3 charge for parking - visitor parking permits are available from the machines in the parking lots.  Please do not park in spaces marked "Staff" - you will be ticketed!

As part of its commitment to bringing astronomy to the public, the Peninsula Astronomical Society operates the Foothill College Observatory (click here for more information). The Observatory is staffed by members of the society who volunteer to conduct the regularly scheduled public programs.

In addition to operating the Foothill Observatory, the PAS has its own observatory in the nearby Santa Cruz Mountains. This location has AC power and room for members to set up their own telescopes at our monthly star parties. This site is also the home of the society's 12" telescope, available for member use after a checkout.

For informaton about membership in the PAS, click here.



PAS Logo clothing and other cool items are available at Cafe Press - click on the T-shirt:

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