The world record for high jump — the event in which a person hurdles himself over a horizontal bar — is just over 8 feet. That's like leaping over a stop sign, and clearing it by a foot. Jesus Dapena, of Indiana University, has studied the high jump for 30 years, filming athletes to understand exactly how they produce the force required to clear the bar.
Florida's Aquarius Reef Base is the only working undersea lab left today. But now that federal funds have dried up, it may be forced to surface. Oceanographer Sylvia Earle joins Science Friday from inside Aquarius, 60 feet underwater, to talk about sponges, corals and other life she's observed on the reef.
Antarctica has 90 percent of the world's ice--and it's melting. Ice sheet guru Bob Bindschadler talks about climate change in Antarctica, and rising sea levels across the globe. Plus, biologist Diana Wall talks about hidden life in the barren Dry Valleys, and microbe hunter John Priscu talks about "bugs in the ice."
ERIC MCCORMACK: (As Doctor Daniel Pierce) In this class, we're interested in what goes on in the brain. And if we were to put someone in an FMRI machine and watch what happens when they make up a lie, we'd see their dorsolateral prefrontal cortex light up like a Christmas tree...
MCCORMACK: (As Doctor Daniel Pierce) ...because we use our brains when we lie. We use our brains when we're being lied to. But can the brain ever lie to itself?
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.
Researchers studying brains want to know what's happening in an area called the premotor cortex — the place in the brain that gears up for something the body is about to do, like swimming. Above, Michael Phelps dives off the starting blocks in the final heat of the men's 400-meter individual medley during the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials in Omaha, Neb., on June 25.
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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And I'm Audie Cornish.
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.