Flippers and Blow?

Societies around the world have long linked breath to life. God breathed life into Adam, after all, and this Vietnamese deity is demonstrating pranayama, controlled breathing to benefit life force. 

It turns out that breath can tell us a lot about health. Today’s sensitive medical devices diagnose disease by measuring breath compounds. And marine biologists are adopting this technology to analyze whale breath—or “blow”—to learn more about whale populations. Getting blow from a 190-ton great blue isn’t easy, but it sure beats the alternatives: collecting blood or stool samples.         —Alex Bortolot, Content Strategist, October 10



Image: Rebecca Kessler for The New York Times

Source: Rebecca Kessler, ”A Wealth of Data in Whale Breath,” The New York Times, 9/30/13