Scientists create body decay ID system

U.S. scientists have created a system designed to help locate hidden burial sites and provide evidence that points to the victims' killers.

The researchers led by forensics expert Arpad Vass at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory's biosciences division say odors released from decomposing corpses in such graves can provide a chemical fingerprint.

The scientists started by identifying 478 specific volatile compounds associated with burial decomposition and narrowed those to the top 30 in order of perceived importance for finding buried bodies.

The researchers say their project, begun four years ago, identifies the "odor signature" unique to human burial decomposition and could lead to improved cadaver dog training and possibly to a portable instrument that could help locate human remains.

The research, performed with assistance from the University of Tennessee, is funded by the FBI.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International


Explore further

Skeleton of 12,000-year-old shaman discovered buried with leopard, 50 tortoises and human foot

Citation: Scientists create body decay ID system (2007, January 18) retrieved 20 June 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-01-scientists-body-id.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more