Researchers have recently discovered that some microbes can give insight on death conditions. The surprising discovery was made by investigators at the University of Colorado after studying the decomposition process of various animal and human corpses.
Forensic investigations usually rely on the close study of the corpse’s environment, but scientists have admitted many times before that these methods were flawed. Jessica Metcalf and her team of researchers have discovered new type of body microbes that appear after a person dies.
Given their occurrence, scientists have named these newly found particles, necrobiomes. They start to develop just as death sets in and they have the same pattern of evolution, regardless of the conditions in which the corpse was kept.
Scientists at the University of Colorado have reached this conclusion after observing the decomposition of various types of corpses on their Science Facility in Southeast Texas. They first started with the study of mice corpses and then, moved on to more difficult tasks, those of determining the death conditions of human victims.
During the experiment, researchers placed two corpses on the field in the winter season and two others in the spring months. The corpses were left in the outdoor for a period of 143 days and 82 days, respectively, but they were constantly studied by researchers.
Investigators have regularly withdrawn bacteria samples from the corpses to determine whether they follow the same pattern or not. Results indicated that the necrobiomes have different stages of evolution at precise time intervals after the death of the victim.
Forensic experts have immediately concluded that such information may be used to indicate authorities when a person died. As a matter of fact, such info was determined in just 25 days for all the experiments that researchers have made, regardless weather they took place in the winter or in the spring.
Moreover, suppositions were narrowed down to just a couple of days. Unlike past investigations, which could not be very precise in point of death time estimates, the new method narrowed hypotheses to two to four days.
In the future, our community of bacteria can provide more personal information about ourselves to authorities. We can find out where murders travelled to just by looking at their microbes, researchers have explained.
Image source: www.pixabay.com