New technique to quickly detect buried bodies

August 1st, 2010 - 6:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 1 (IANS) Finding bodies buried by someone who wanted them to stay undiscovered may not be difficult any more thanks to a new technique developed by scientists that can reliably detect biochemical changes in a decomposing cadaver.
Typically, cadaver-sniffing dogs or ground penetrating radar are used to detect clandestine grave sites, but these methods are not always useful in all scenarios such as if a body is buried under concrete.

The technique developed the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a modification of the one developed to sense minute levels of difficult-to-detect chemical compounds, reports the Forensic Science International journal.

Now, a simple probe slightly thicker than a human hair can be inserted into the ground to detect decaying flesh.

Developed by NIST chemists Thomas J. Bruno and Tara M. Lovestead, the device can also be used to detect a body buried under a concrete slab.

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