A sometimes uncomfortably intimate look at Montanaâ€™s cutting-edge athleteperformance research facility, and its contagiously enthusiastic leader, Dr. Brent Ruby s we wait for the heat chamber to warm up, Brent Ruby and his senior researchers, John Cuddy and Walter Hailes, regale me with stories of misadventure in the measurement of core temperature. They show me a 2-foot probe that one test subject threaded down the back of her pants and all the way up to her belly button, completely missing the intended cavity. Another subject clenched a different heat sensor between her buttocks until it fell out midway through the experiment. She refused to believe she had lost it. The researchers show me the sensor, a purple suppository roughly the size and shape of a foam earplug, with a smooth plastic case and a glimpse of electronic components at the flat end. It costs $50 and is not reusable. We joke about the vagaries of experimental research until the conversation reaches a polite silence. It is the silence that says, okay, now go put this scientific device in your rectum.
Cathrine L. Walters