Agriculture
Middle school science adventures
Seeds of the Future
Chicken Eggs as Drug Factories
Amphibians
Newts
Bullfrogs
Tree Frogs
Animals
Little Bee Brains That Could
Monkeys Count
Deep Krill
Behavior
Flower family knows its roots
Babies Prove Sound Learners
Lightening Your Mood
Birds
Flightless Birds
Crows
Vultures
Chemistry and Materials
Supersonic Splash
Supergoo to the rescue
When frog gender flips
Computers
Games with a Purpose
The Earth-bound asteroid scientists saw coming
The hungry blob at the edge of the universe
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Fingerprinting Fossils
Mini T. rex
Watery Fate for Nature's Gliders
E Learning Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth
Digging into a Tsunami Disaster
Life under Ice
Pollution at the ends of the Earth
Environment
Forests as a Tsunami Shield
Snow Traps
Blooming Jellies
Finding the Past
Writing on eggshells
Salt and Early Civilization
A Plankhouse Past
Fish
Barracudas
Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Flashlight Fishes
Food and Nutrition
Eat Out, Eat Smart
Chocolate Rules
The Essence of Celery
GSAT English Rules
Problems with Prepositions
Whoever vs. Whomever
Order of Adjectives
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
GSAT Exam Preparation
The Annual GSAT Scholarships
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT Mathematics
Math and our number sense: PassGSAT.com
GSAT Mathematics Quiz, Teaching Math, teaching anxiety
Deep-space dancers
Human Body
Spitting Up Blobs to Get Around
Hey batter, wake up!
Disease Detectives
Invertebrates
Invertebrates
Hermit Crabs
Caterpillars
Mammals
Gray Whale
Deers
Canines
Parents
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Children and Media
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
Physics
Invisibility Ring
Spin, Splat, and Scramble
Electric Backpack
Plants
Farms sprout in cities
Sweet, Sticky Science
The algae invasion
Reptiles
Snakes
Komodo Dragons
Anacondas
Space and Astronomy
Rover Makes Splash on Mars
A Great Ball of Fire
Planet Hunters Nab Three More
Technology and Engineering
Searching for Alien Life
Bionic Bacteria
Model Plane Flies the Atlantic
The Parts of Speech
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Pronouns
What is a Preposition?
Transportation
Revving Up Green Machines
Troubles with Hubble
Where rivers run uphill
Weather
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
Where rivers run uphill
A Change in Climate
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™