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A "space age" spin on health

posted Tuesday February 21, 2006

The G Connection: No, it’s not a new rap group. The “G” stands for gravity, and it is the basis of Dr. Joan Vernikos’s research in which she explores the connection between gravity and aging. Vernikos will speak at Morehead Planetarium and Science Center on Wednesday, March 1, in a lecture titled “The G Connection: Space Age Health.”

During her talk, Vernikos will focus on the functions of gravity and on facts and myths relating to space exploration. MPSC collaborated with SpaceTalk, a student organization at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill dedicated to advocating human exploration of Mars and space, and with N.C. Space Grant to host Vernikos for this event. SpaceTalk and MPSC have joined together in the past to host speakers such as astronaut Story Musgrave and astrobiologist Chris McKay.

An advocate of space tourism, Vernikos served as director of life science at NASA headquarters for seven years and has published more than 200 scientific journals and reviews dealing with space topics. She was a pioneer in the field of space medicine and conducted extensive research, which led her to discover that gravity has an effect on healthy aging.

Vernikos recently published her third book, The G-Connection: Harness Gravity and Reverse Aging. The book draws on 30 years worth of NASA research that Vernikos conducted during her study of gravity’s connection to youth.

Vernikos’ lecture will begin at 7 p.m. on March 1, 2006, in MPSC’s Star Theater. The event is free and open to the public. No reservations are needed.