Trilobites: What Makes Some Hair Curly? Not Quite What Scientists Thought

What Makes Some Hair Curly? Not Quite What Scientists Thought Photo Merino sheep on a farm in Alexandra, New Zealand. Scientists found that differences in the cells on a hair explain a sheep’s curls, and may offer insights for other mammals, like us. Credit Guy Frederick for The New York Times Every day is a curly hair day for sheep. Those curls and kinks are part of what makes woolen sweaters so cozy — the maze of fibers helps trap warm air, keeping it close to the body. But wrapped up in those curls may also be answers to a longstanding mystery: exactly how a strand of hair winds itself into a curl on the cellular level.
For many years, there were two competing theories to explain what makes hairs curl in sheep. Research by scientists in New Zealand and Japan published Thursday in the Journal of Experimental Biology finds that neither theory is exactly correct. But it remains likely that differences between certain cells on a hair may explain what makes a sheep’s wool curly. And whil..

Carolina Panthers Headed Toward Record Sale Price

Supported by Sports Carolina Panthers Headed Toward Record Sale Price Photo Panthers owner Jerry Richardson announced in December he would sell the team after complaints of sexual harassment surfaced.
Credit Streeter Lecka/Getty Images ORLANDO, Fla. — Four months after the Carolina Panthers went on the auction block, owner Jerry Richardson is on track to collect a record sale price for the team he founded in 1993.
However, while the Panthers will fetch far more than the Buffalo Bills, which Terry Pegula bought for a then-record $1.4 billion in 2014, previous reports that the team could sell for $3 billion or more now appear overly optimistic. Sports bankers and people involved in the process expect the Panthers to sell for around $2.5 billion.
That would still serve as a sign that N.F.L. teams remain extremely valuable, with leaguewide revenues reaching more than $14 billion. Earlier this year, Fox agreed to pay a record $600 million to broadcast Thursday night games. The day afte..

Motion Picture Academy Finds No Merit to Accusations Against Its President

Supported by Media Motion Picture Academy Finds No Merit to Accusations Against Its President Photo John Bailey, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The inquiry focused on a claim that Mr. Bailey had attempted to touch a woman inappropriately about a decade ago. Credit David McNew/Reuters LOS ANGELES — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences concluded on Tuesday that an allegation of sexual harassment against its president had no merit, in the first test of new guidelines that the powerful Hollywood industry group enacted after a wave of accusations of inappropriate behavior rocked the entertainment industry.
In a statement released after its regularly scheduled board meeting, the academy said that an internal investigation into allegations levied against John Bailey, who was elected as president of the group in August, had determined that “no further action was merited.”
Mr. Bailey, a cinematographer with credits ranging from “Ordinary People..

Julie Yip-Williams, Writer of Candid Blog on Cancer, Dies at 42

Supported by Obituaries Julie Yip-Williams, Writer of Candid Blog on Cancer, Dies at 42 Photo Julie Yip-Williams in a family photograph at her home in Brooklyn in January. “Rejoice in life and all of its beauty,” she told her children. Julie Yip-Williams, whose candid blog about having Stage IV colon cancer also described a life of struggles that began with being born blind in Vietnam and her ethnic Chinese family’s escape in a rickety fishing boat, died on Monday at her home in Brooklyn. She was 42.
Joshua Williams, her husband, said the cause was metastatic colon cancer.
Ms. Yip-Williams’s richly detailed blog, which she started writing after receiving her diagnosis in 2013, was more than an account of her siege with cancer. It was also a meditation on love and family as well as a message of openness to her young daughters, Mia and Isabelle, about her illness.
Ms. Yip-Williams wrestled with hope, which she cursed as an “illusory sentiment.”
“Cancer crushes hope, leaving a wastel..

Matter: Was a Tiny Mummy in the Atacama an Alien? No, but the Real Story Is Almost as Strange

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Was a Tiny Mummy in the Atacama an Alien? No, but the Real Story Is Almost as Strange

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Nearly two decades ago, the rumors began: In the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, someone had discovered a tiny mummified alien.
An amateur collector exploring a ghost town was said to have come across a white cloth in a leather pouch. Unwrapping it, he found a six-inch-long skeleton.
Despite its size, the skeleton was remarkably complete. It even had hardened teeth. And yet there were striking anomalies: it had 10 ribs instead of the usual 12, giant eye sockets and a long skull that ended in a point.
Ata, as the remains came to be known, ended up in a private collection, but the rumors continued, fueled in part by a U.F.O. documentary in 2013 that featured the skeleton. On Thursday, a team of scientists presented a very different explanation for Ata — one without aliens, but intriguing in its own way.

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They Were ‘Known Only to God.’ Now Argentina’s Falklands War Dead Are Named.

They Were ‘Known Only to God.’ Now Argentina’s Falklands War Dead Are Named. Photo Relatives of an Argentine soldier killed in the 1982 war between Argentina and Britain visiting Darwin Military Cemetery in the Falkland Islands, known by Argentina as the Malvinas. Credit Argentinian Presidency BUENOS AIRES — When Dalal Abd de Massad went to the Darwin cemetery in the Falkland Islands this week it was the first time that she had hugged the gravestone with her son’s name.
“I was finally able to cry at his grave,” Ms. Abd said of her son, Daniel. “I talked to him, told him everything that happened in these years. I hugged that white cross as if I was hugging him.”
Ms. Abd and her husband, Osvaldo Said Massad, were part of a delegation of 250, mostly family members of fallen soldiers, who traveled to the disputed islands for a ceremony to mark the identification of 90 Argentine service members who died in a 1982 war with Britain and had been buried as unknown soldiers.
For 36 years, the pl..