Hair detectives

Scientists have found a way to figure out where a person is from and where he or she has been, just by looking at samples of the person's hair.

By Emily Sohn, 00:00 AM March 5, 2008

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...

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