Navigation Links
The science behind the cape
Date:3/8/2011

Bethesda, Md. (Mar. 8, 2011) -- What do you have when you line up a martial artist, acrobatic gymnast, police officer, firefighter, NASCAR driver, and NFL running back? "Watson," the IBM super-computer that recently routed humanity's best on Jeopardy might have guessed the answer was "the Village People," to which host Alex Trebek could have replied, "Sorry. The answer we were looking for is 'Batman'." At least that is the correct answer for physiologist E. Paul Zehr.

In a new article, Zehr, a professor at the University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, describes his success in using the Caped Crusader to engage students in the study of physiology.

"Batman has such powerful resonance with readers because he is a (fictional) human with superpowers that seem within reach if we only work at it," writes Zehr in a new article published in Advances in Physiology Education, a journal of the American Physiological Society. Zehr believes that it is not Bruce Wayne's vast wealth that allows him to protect the citizens of Gotham City, but his dedication to developing a wide range of physical skills.

Zehr uses Batman to establish a framework, grounded in his fictional universe as well as our real one, in order to discuss the various components of exercise and physical training and illustrate how the body's physiological systems respond. His experiences in teaching undergraduate courses in physiology and neurophysiology made him realize that connecting science to popular culture helped students understand the lessons better.

He first presented a formal analysis of the personal and physical discipline that would be required to transform an ordinary mortal into a superhero in his book, Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero. The book drew on Zehr's understanding and work in human locomotion and the plasticity of nerves and muscles associated with exercise. By coincidence, the book was published in the wake of The Dark Knight, the blockbuster movie which recounts Batman and his arch-enemy, the Joker.

With the casting almost complete for the sequel, The Dark Knight Rises, Dr. Zehr writes about his experiences connecting science to popular culture, which is captured in the Advances, article, "A Personal View: From Claude Bernard to the Batcave and Beyond: Using Batman as a hook for physiology education."

Batman: A Catalyst for Understanding Science

In the article, Zehr writes that far more Americans are aware of Bruce Wayne, the man behind the Batman mask, than Claude Bernard, a 19th century French physiologist who first established the use of the scientific method in medicine. Dr. Zehr certainly knew of Bernard, because for over 17 years he has published more than 70 scientific paper and hundreds of abstracts associated with his research into physiology and the science of body motion.

While Bernard used the tools of his day to explain science, Zehr says that Becoming Batman was the catalyst to adopting a new approach to his research efforts in neuroscience and human neurophysiology. The science of Batman is hardly, "silly science," as some might suggest, because the physiology behind Batman is the physiology of us all.

"The more that people understand science, and the physiology of things in particular, the better for everyone," says Zehr. To that end, he has written a second book in this genre, Inventing Iron Man: The Possibility of a Human Machine, to be published later this year. Will he use a cyborg -- like the one best represented by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (T2) to explain science? The author, like Batman smiles enigmatically and says, "You will have to wait and see."


'/>"/>

Contact: Donna Krupa
dkrupa@the-aps.org
301-634-7209
American Physiological Society
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. New report helps inform decisions about how science should be funded
2. Experts explore vaccines: Science, legal, social issues at New York Academy of Sciences
3. Mayo researchers, Rochester educators, students to present at science conference
4. 2010 AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Award presented to the Honorable Rush Holt, Ph.D., for supporting science in Congress
5. Canada awards top science prizes
6. Soil science: Healing our planets ills from the ground up
7. Washington Life Sciences Discovery Fund announces grants to commercialize promising technologies
8. National Academy of Sciences honors microbiologists for major scientific contributions
9. Science Translational Medicine: Creating Hope Act incentivizes pediatric drug R&D
10. Dartmouth Medical School faculty named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
11. New Society for Social Neuroscience to help guide emerging field
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
The science behind the cape
(Date:6/26/2016)... North Carolina (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... release of a new product that was developed to enhance the health of felines. ... for centuries. , The two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Austin, TX (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... Fellow of the American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for ... popular and highly effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern ... Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He ... Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published June ... with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking ... common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) learned ... receive two significant new grants to support its work to advance research and ... by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in fighting pulmonary ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Consumers have taken ... regulators/payers have placed more emphasis on patient outcomes. ... support programs in the pharmaceutical industry have evolved ... Consequently, pharmaceutical companies are focusing on becoming more ... providing products and services that improve health. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc. (GBT) (NASDAQ: ... novel therapeutics for the treatment of grievous blood-based ... closing of its previously announced underwritten public offering ... public offering price of $18.75 per share. All ... by GBT. GBT estimates net proceeds from the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Dublin ... of the " Global Markets for Spectroscopy Equipment" ... This report focuses on the global ... including its applications in various applications. The report deals ... three main industries: pharmaceutical and biotechnology, food and beverage, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: