How a single grizzly bear hair gave researchers a detailed account of exposure to toxic metals

How a single grizzly bear hair gave researchers a detailed account of exposure to toxic metals

Mammals can be quite hairy. In fact, hair is a unique feature of mammals. Although hair is primarily covering our heads and bodies for physiological and evolutionary reasons, it is also a treasure chest of useful dietary and health information. Why is hair such a great data source? Hair is composed of keratin, a sulfur-rich protein that in the root portion readily binds to elements and metals that are flowing through a mammal’s blood. As the hair grows, it records the changes in those elements becoming a detailed account of that mammal’s life.

Read More