Agriculture
Earth-Friendly Fabrics
Protecting Cows—and People—from a Deadly Disease
Making the most of a meal
Amphibians
Salamanders
Salamanders and Newts
Frogs and Toads
Animals
Feeding School for Meerkats
Who's Knocking?
Elephant Mimics
Behavior
From dipping to fishing
Video Game Violence
Swedish Rhapsody
Birds
Songbirds
Turkeys
Blue Jays
Chemistry and Materials
Supersonic Splash
Gooey Secrets of Mussel Power
A Butterfly's Electric Glow
Computers
New eyes to scan the skies
Batteries built by Viruses
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Dinosaurs and Fossils
An Ancient Feathered Biplane
The bug that may have killed a dinosaur
Feathered Fossils
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
Greener Diet
Deep Drilling at Sea
Coral Gardens
Environment
The Down Side of Keeping Clean
Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
Pumping Up Poison Ivy
Finding the Past
An Ancient Childhood
Sahara Cemetery
Stone Tablet May Solve Maya Mystery
Fish
Bull Sharks
Tuna
Halibut
Food and Nutrition
Food for Life
Building a Food Pyramid
Moving Good Fats from Fish to Mice
GSAT English Rules
Order of Adjectives
Who vs. Whom
Problems with Prepositions
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
How are students placed after passing the GSAT exam
Ministry of Education Announces 82 GSAT Scholarships for 2010
Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT Mathematics
Monkeys Count
How to Slice a Cake Fairly
Math Naturals
Human Body
Disease Detectives
Smiles Turn Away Colds
Dreaming makes perfect
Invertebrates
Mussels
Dust Mites
Clams
Mammals
Cape Buffalo
Sheep
Moles
Parents
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Physics
One ring around them all
Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen
Invisibility Ring
Plants
Assembling the Tree of Life
White fuzzy mold not as friendly as it looks
Seeds of the Future
Reptiles
Caimans
Komodo Dragons
Black Mamba
Space and Astronomy
Mercury's magnetic twisters
Witnessing a Rare Venus Eclipse
Evidence of a Wet Mars
Technology and Engineering
Riding Sunlight
Musclebots Take Some Steps
Crime Lab
The Parts of Speech
Pronouns
What is a Noun
Problems with Prepositions
Transportation
How to Fly Like a Bat
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Tinkering With the Basic Bike
Weather
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
Either Martians or Mars has gas
Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
Add your Article

Hair Detectives

You can tell a lot about people by looking at their hair—and not just whether they brush, spray, or blow-dry. Scientists have found a way to use hair to figure out where a person is from and where that person has been. The finding could help solve crimes, among other useful applications. Water is central to the new technique. The liquid makes up more than half an adult human's body weight. Our bodies break water down into its parts—hydrogen and oxygen. Atoms of these two elements end up in our tissues, fingernails, and hair.But not all water is the same. Hydrogen and oxygen atoms can vary in how much they weigh. Different forms of a single element are called isotopes. And depending on where you live, tap water contains unique proportions of the heavier and lighter isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen. Might hair record these watery quirks? That's what James R. Ehleringer, an environmental chemist at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, wondered. To find out, he and his colleagues collected hair from barbers and hair stylists in 65 cities in 18 states across the United States. The researchers assumed that the hair they collected came from people who lived in the area. Even though people drink a lot of bottled water these days, the scientists found that hair overwhelmingly reflected the concentrations of hydrogen and oxygen isotopes in local tap water. That's probably because people usually cook their food in the local water. What's more, most of the other liquids we drink—including milk and soft drinks—contain large amounts of water that also come from sources within their region. Scientists already knew how the composition of water varies throughout the country. Ehleringer and colleagues combined that information with their results to predict the composition of hair in people from different regions. The new technique can't point to exactly where a person is from, because similar types of water appear in different regions that span a broad area. But authorities can now use the information to analyze hair samples from criminals or crime victims and narrow their search for clues. "This [technique] doesn't allow you to find the needle in a haystack, but it reduces the size of the haystack," says Wolfram Meier-Augenstein, an analytical chemist at Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland. For example, one hair sample used in Ehleringer's study came from a man who had recently moved from Beijing, China, to Salt Lake City. As his hair grew, it reflected his change in location. Based on the finding, Jurian A. Hoogewerff, a chemist at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, offers this advice: "If you're a criminal, shave."—Emily Sohn

Hair Detectives
Hair Detectives








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™