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Stories by Larry Greenemeier

The Sciences

Dana Vollmer's Butterfly Stroke Features Dolphinlike Moves [Video]

U.S. swimmer Dana Vollmer's record-setting performance in London in the 100-meter butterfly is sure to be a model for aspiring Olympians. Vollmer's edge in butterfly competition comes from her uncanny ability to closely mimic the underwater undulation and kick of nature's greatest swimmer—the dolphin.The 24-year-old Syracuse, N.Y., native worked with a team of motion-capture video specialists from New York University (N.Y.U.) prior to the 2012 Olympic Games to analyze her kick, grab and recovery as she cuts through the water and found the similarities striking...

August 6, 2012 — Larry Greenemeier

Strength in Numbers: Citizen Scientists Lending More Helping Hands (and Handhelds) to Help the Pros

With a little instruction and education, hundreds if not thousands of volunteers armed with smart phones, computers and Internet access can act as the eyes, ears and hands of scientists worldwide.That idea is the hallmark of the growing citizen-science movement, which is already recruiting Facebook users to virtually "infect" their friends with a simulated virus, revealing patterns of how diseases mutate and spread...

August 1, 2012 — Larry Greenemeier

Push Comes to Pull: What's the Best Freestyle Swimming Stroke? [Video]

This summer's Olympic games in London feature 14 different freestyle swimming competitions, by far the most races for any type of stroke. The world's elite swimmers can traverse a 50-meter pool in 22 to 26 seconds, yet they are divided over which of two variations of the stroke are more effective: the more powerful "deep catch" approach or the more streamlined "scull." And the physics behind the debate is fascinating.In the deep catch approach, a swimmer puts his or her arm straight forward, then down as deep as possible into the water, and pushes that arm back as hard as possible, keeping the palms perpendicular to the direction the swimmer wants to move...

July 23, 2012 — Larry Greenemeier

GE Develops Recyclable, Rechargeable Batteries for Cell Tower Backup

A person's arsenal of wireless communications devices—smartphones, tablets, laptops, et cetera—places a heavy burden on surrounding cell towers. But when storms or power surges interrupt electrical service, these towers are forced to rely on a costly and environmentally unfriendly combination of lead-acid batteries and diesel generators to keep wireless users connected.GE on Tuesday unveiled a new battery that, it claims, can provide more backup capacity for telecommunications providers and utilities at a fraction of the cost...

July 10, 2012 — Larry Greenemeier
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