Michelangelo's David has dodgy legs

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The world's most famous statue, Michelangelo's statue of David, has dodgy legs.

The results have come from a new method for analysing stress which has been applied to scans of the Renaissance masterpiece, a marble statue sculpted between 1501 to 1504.

Although the stress points in the magnificent symbol of strength and beauty have been charted before, this is a proof of principle for a computer-based method that is simpler, faster and more accurate than those used before, and can be applied to bones too, whether of patients or long extinct creatures.

Today, Vadim Shapiro of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Igor Tsukanov of Florida International University and their colleagues will present their latest results from their "Scan and Solve" computer technique at the International Conference on Computational and Experimental Engineering and Sciences in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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