Credit Arvid Aase/Fossil Country Museum / National Park Service
Not that you'd care, because you're dead, but how would you like it if the last thing you did on Earth was really, really embarrassing — like trying to gulp down a meal that's flip-flopping wildly in your mouth, tail out ...
... when along comes a mudslide, and boom! You and your lunch are frozen in place, harden into rock and then, a hundred or so million years later, there you are again, still gulping, but now under lights in a museum display case for an endless stream of strangers? Not good if you're a shy fish.
When Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps steps onto a starting block a few days from now, a Stanford scientist named Krishna Shenoy will be asking himself a question: "What's going on in Michael Phelps' brain?"
Specifically, Shenoy would like to know what's happening in an area called the premotor cortex. This area doesn't directly tell muscles what to do. But it's the place where the brain gears up for something the body is about to do, like swimming.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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This week, a NASA satellite spotted a new iceberg broken from an ice sheet in Greenland known as the Petermann Glacier. The iceberg is twice the size of Manhattan, 46 square miles, and it's the second time in the last few years that an island sized chunk of ice has calved from the glacier.
Here's your vocabulary word for the week: zoonosis. It describes an infection that is transmitted between species. For example, the disease that the husband and wife team of Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy have written about in their new book, Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus.
Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 3:40 pm
Credit NPR/U.S. Drought Monitor
Texas experienced its worst drought on record last year. Now that the state is seeing some relief, drought conditions have consumed more than half the United States. Use this interactive map and chart to see how conditions have changed over time. Related story: 1,200 counties affected.
A noted oceanographer once quipped that if you gave him a tanker half-filled with iron, he could give you an ice age. He was only half-joking.
Adding iron to the ocean can cause blooms of algae, which have the potential to take huge amounts of carbon dioxide out of the air and by so doing, cool the planet. And a report in Nature magazine now offers some support for that idea.