Study of Space Travelers Helps Explain Disease in the Earthbound

Some inherited genetic mutations have obvious harmful effects, such as those associated with cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anemia. Now, scientists are learning more about stress-induced effects of gene mutations.
We have known for some time that certain astronauts who had spent time at the International Space Station developed vision problems. Spaceflight exerts unique stresses on the body, particularly the physical forces of launch and reentry and extended time in the microgravity environment of space. But not all astronauts developed vision problems, with incidence of specific problems varying from 10% to 60%. This observation led to the question of whether there was some underlying commonality among the astronauts who developed vision problems that was brought out by the stress of spaceflight. Such commonalities were found in a 2012 study to be metabolites of the biochemical process known as 1-carbon metabolism.
[read more about stress-induced effects of gene mutations.]


NRI Postdoctoral Research Associate receives Trainee Merit Award

Summer Goodson earned her Ph.D. in Cell and Development Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2011. Now, only five years later, she has been recognized for a significant contribution in the field of andrology. In April, at the 41st Annual American Society of Andrology (ASA) Conference in New Orleans, LA, she was evaluated by anonymous judges and became one of four out of 148 trainees to receive the Trainee Merit Award.
This award is given to Trainee Members of the ASA who present research that can be defined as a “significant contribution” to the field of andrology. Goodson received this award for developing a better method to study sperm motility.
[read more about what this new method could mean for male fertility.]

Free Public Lecture
New Time and Place

Appetite for Life, the NRI’s popular program that brings the latest science news to you in clear, insightful lectures is moving to a new format. Join us May 17 at 6 PM at Restaurant 46 in downtown Kannapolis for our next presentation. Order a drink and light bites then sit back and learn about the latest in nutrition research.
Katie Meyer, Ph.D., a faculty fellow at the UNC Nutrition Research Institute will talk about the gut microbiome’s role in our health and the status of scientific discovery into the specific gut microbial features that will help us design personalized diets to optimize health.
In this new venue, you’ll enjoy a relaxed atmosphere with food and drink and be encouraged to participate with your questions and comments. It’s Appetite for Life – with a twist! Register now! 
*NOTE* Appetite for Life on May 17 will be at Restuarant 46, 101 West Avenue, Kannapolis, NC 28081 [click for map].

Summer Nourishment Tours

This summer, find out where scientific discovery takes place from by touring the UNC Nutrition Research Institute in Kannapolis. Points of interest include one of only a few whole-room calorimeters in the US, metabolic assessment lab, body composition lab, and a meet-and-greet with a scientist in a research laboratory. Each tour concludes with a 15-minute food demo jointly presented by Dole and the NCSU Plants for Human Health Institute. Learn about health-giving properties and preparation techniques of foods and nutrients studied on the North Carolina Research Campus. Attendees may sample the fare. Tours plus cooking demos will run approximately one hour in length.
Tours limited to 16 people. Sign up early! To register for a tour, click the date below that you would like to attend.
Tour Dates & Times
Tuesday, June 7: 1 PM
Tuesday, June 21: 1 PM
Wednesday, July 13: 11 AM
Wednesday, July 27: 11 AM
Wednesday, August 10: 11 AM
Wednesday, August 24: 11 AM

NRI Short Course

On May 22, graduate students, health professionals and nutrition scientists from academia and industry will gather on the North Carolina Research Campus for a week-long short course presented by the UNC Nutrition Research Institute. This workshop-style course will provide the fundamental concepts of nutrigenetics, nutrigenomics and personalized nutrition through cutting-edge presentations and hands-on experiences using the latest tools to analyze gene testing. Participants will employ data from a sample of their own DNA to learn how to use nutrigenetic methods. The course will be conducted by the NRI’s own faculty members as well as other professors from UNC Chapel Hill. Registered participants from around the world are traveling to be a part of this rare learning opportunity.
Limited space is available. Registration closes May 1. Register now.