David Dinges, PhD, chief of the division of Chronobiology and professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at Penn Medicine, will lead a U.S. scientific team as part of a simulated 520-day Mars mission simulation. The researchers will be monitoring the six crew members’ rest-activity cycles, performance and psychological responses to determine the extent to which sleep loss, fatigue, stress, mood changes and conflicts occur during the mission. The 520-day mission is broken into 250 days for the trip to Mars, 30 days on the surface, and 240 days for the return to Earth.

During the simulation, Dinges and his colleagues are using miniaturized wristwatch-like devices to measure crew members’ sleep-wake patterns and specially programmed computers with brief assessment tests to gather information throughout the mission on crew members’ performance and emotions.

For more information, see the press release from the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI), who is sponsoring the U.S. scientific research:

http://www.nsbri.org/NewsPublicOut/Release.epl?r=138

 

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Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $4.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 17 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $392 million awarded in the 2013 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania -- recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; Chester County Hospital; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2013, Penn Medicine provided $814 million to benefit our community.

 

 

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