Planetary Radio • Apr 08, 2014

Microbes in Orbit: Cheryl Nickerson’s Revealing Biomedical Research

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On This Episode

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Cheryl Nickerson

Professor for Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University

You may have heard that the sometimes deadly Salmonella bacterium becomes stronger in microgravity. That was just one of the fascinating results of experiments Arizona State’s Cheryl Nickerson and her team have conducted in low Earth orbit. She tells us why she has such passion for this work. Emily Lakdawalla tells us to look down on Mars for an amazing view of Curiosity amid the dunes. Bruce Betts says look up at the Red Planet! Bill Nye can’t believe the Cassini mission may be in budget jeopardy.

Cheryl Nickerson of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University
Cheryl Nickerson of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University Image: Nick Meek

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Who was the tallest astronaut to fly in space, and how tall was he or she?

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What major moon orbits Saturn at about the same distance our Moon orbits the Earth?


Dione is Saturn’s major moon that orbits at about the same distance from the planet as Earth’s Moon.