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Staerkel Planetarium’s Kaler Science Series kicks off next week

This annual lecture series, named after U of I astronomer James Kaler, begins October 4th with the topic “Nature and Nurture: Examining How Diverse Organisms Adapt to Changes in their Everyday Environment.” The lecture will be led by a group of former and current Parkland students who participated in the 2019 Phenotypic Plasticity Research Experience for Community College Students. 

Don’t know what that means? I didn’t either. Here’s the explanation, from the Parkland press release:

“Phenotypic plasticity is a phenomenon in which changes in physical appearance or behavior occur in genes in response to environmental conditions.

Current Parkland student Isiah Ramos investigated the link between respiratory infections and the worsening of multiple sclerosis symptoms. Erinn Dady, a Parkland graduate and a current UIUC student, studied how plants responded to caterpillars eating their leaves and how their responses may be affected by the root associations they share with fungi. Parkland graduate Justina Lee, also a current UIUC student, monitored the impact of THC on rat behavior, specifically on their anxiety levels.”

They will present their findings, beginning at 7 p.m., then stick around for a full dome showing of Dark Matter Mystery at 8 p.m.

You can find the rest of the dates and lecture topics here

Photo from the Facebook event

Staff writer

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