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Tag: forensics

Oct 1, 2018

New Research Aims to Help Catch Child Killers

NC State research will help law enforcement learn more from juvenile and infant remains in order to help bring killers to justice. 

Jan 29, 2018

Bone Experts Offer How-To Video For Forensic Professionals

Researchers have created a how-to video to train forensic practitioners in using bone mineral density to extract more information from human remains. 

Jan 23, 2018

Forensic Researchers Find Femur Offers Insight Into Age of Deceased

Forensic researchers have found a more accurate way to assess an individual’s age at death, based on the bone mineral density of the femur. 

Jun 5, 2017

Forensic Technique Uses Forehead X-Rays to Assess Age of Juvenile Remains

Researchers have developed a technique that can provide an approximate age for juveniles based on a frontal X-ray of the skull. 

Aug 3, 2016

Forensic Research Finds Bone Density Affects Size of Bullet Holes

NC State research finds that the density of bones in the skull affects the size of bullet holes in the skull. The finding is useful for law enforcement officials and medical examiners seeking to identify the caliber of firearms that have been used to commit murder. 

Jul 26, 2016

Media Invited to Forensic Science Workshop on Clandestine Burials

Researchers will be training law enforcement officials and crime scene investigators on how to find hidden bodies and retrieve evidence that can help track down those responsible. 

May 17, 2016

Research Finds Skull Condition Thought Extinct Is Actually Widespread

Some forensic anthropologists thought the skull condition called cribra orbitalia (CO) was a thing of the past – but new research finds that it is fairly common in both North America and South Africa. 

Mar 22, 2016

Forensic Researchers Set Standards for X-Ray Identification of Bodies

Forensic researchers have for the first time established science-based standards for identifying human remains based on X-rays of an individual’s spine, upper leg or the side of the skull. 

Sep 28, 2015

Study: Ancestral Background Can Be Determined by Fingerprints

A proof-of-concept study finds that it is possible to identify an individual’s ancestral background based on his or her fingerprint characteristics – a discovery with significant applications for law enforcement and anthropological research. 

Apr 15, 2015

Researchers Can Trace Dust Samples Using Fungal DNA

Researchers have developed a statistical model that allows them to tell where a dust sample came from within the continental United States based on the DNA of fungi found in the sample. The work offers law enforcement a new forensic biology tool. 

Mar 5, 2015

Study Upends Conventional Wisdom, Finds Significant Facial Variation in Pre-Columbian South America

Researchers have found significant differences in facial features between pre-Columbian peoples in Peru – disproving a longstanding perception that these groups were physically homogenous. 

Dec 10, 2013

Can You Tell Which Skull Is Which?

A recent study from NC State forensic anthropologists found that even forensic experts have a hard time making a positive identification of human remains based on the shape of a person’s skull. Specifically, only 56 percent of forensic anthropology Ph.D.s (the bone experts) could correctly match two images of the same skull, based solely on the… 

Sep 10, 2013

Face-to-Face: Skull Study Shows Variation of Pre-Columbian Cultures in Mexico

Analysis of the skulls of prehistoric peoples in Mexico reveals significant regional variation in the facial characteristics of indigenous populations – indicating that there were notable physical differences between geographically separate groups before the arrival of Europeans. 

May 1, 2013

Cretaceous Cold Case No. 2, Part 1: It’s a Trap?

This is part one of the second post in a series called “Cretaceous Cold Cases” in which the science of taphonomy, or prehistoric forensics, is explained  using fascinating cases from the files of Terry “Bucky” Gates, a research scientist with a joint appointment at NC State and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Part 2… 

Jan 24, 2012

A Guided Tour Of The Bone Lab – Or, Forensic Anthro 101

Last week, NC State hosted the ScienceOnline2012 conference, bringing together a wide variety of people with an interest in communicating about science. During the conference, I had the opportunity to lead a small group of attendees on a tour of the forensic anthropology labs at NC State. The folks on the tour really enjoyed it, so I…