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Thursday, 5 January 2017

Bacteria from Cadaver can help Forensic Scientists determine the Time of Death

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Identification of the time of death of any victim is not always accurate but in a recent study that published in the journal Plos One allowed scientists to identify bacteria on the body that can help to determine the exact time of death.

The research is carried out by researchers from City University of New York who have been studying about human microbiome. The bacteria that dwell in and on our bodies can leave clues for time interval from postmortem of the cadaver.

Nathan H Lents led the research from Jay College of Criminal Justice sampled bacteria from ear and nasal canals from 21 cadavers.

The bacteria samples were then analyzed with next-generation metagenomic DNA sequencing to identify the abundance of microbe present as well their change in due course. Machine learning approach was also used to scrutinize such large data and the statistical analysis provided answers for the time interval from the time of post-mortem.

Lent said in one of his talk, "Our approach had the benefit of sampling the same cadavers repeatedly as they decomposed and we think that this really added to the ability of our machine learning approach to see through all of the massive amount of noisy data and detect the underlying patterns".

"While we consider this a pilot study, it is a very promising proof-of-concept, and I think that microbiome-based approaches will eventually become the standard method of determining the time since death for bodies that are discovered after some time of decomposition," he added.

Source: India Times


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