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This Week in Science: Feb. 20, 2014

The science of curls
Curly-haired animated characters might become more common. Research conducted by MIT and the University of Pierre and Marie Curie has gotten behind the science of curly hair. It had originally been difficult to understand how hair could curl under it’s own weight. They were able to create a toolset to predict how a strand of hair would curl which will aid computer animators in creating realistic hairstyles for characters.

Science brings in the Olympic medals
The patterns show that the Olympic teams with the big sponsors and new, specially-designed equipment have the edge. That is not to say that tech alone can snag the gold but that skill and tech make the winning combination. The advances in science and research for sports equipment make it difficult to keep the games fair for the teams who don’t have a big time sponsor or government funding.

12,600-year-old remains to be reburied
A study published in Nature explored the remains of an infant found in Montana in 1968. After all these years of research the remains will be reburied during a formal ceremony. The boy was thought to have died between the ages of one and one-and-a-half, about 12,600 years ago. He was buried with some powdered minerals, antler tools and other artifacts. The boy’s genome seemed to have originated from Asia and is genetically related to modern Native Americans. His timeline suggests he belonged to the Clovis culture.

Nanomotors
Published in the Angewandte Chemie International Edition journal, researchers have installed “nanomotors” inside live human cells. First seen 10 years ago, “nanomotors” are small synthetic motors which have gold rods. They move around inside cells and will be able to treat diseases and kill cancerous cells. They also might be able to deliver medication and perform surgery from within a cell. However, this is still at the basic science stage.

 

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