New Virtual Autopsy Procedure Is Changing Forensics – SPIEGEL ONLINE

It used to be that the cause of death could only be determined by cutting a corpse open. But a new, virtual procedure developed by Swiss researchers is providing new insights into dead bodies. It could help identify previously undiscovered murders.

New Virtual Autopsy Procedure Is Changing Forensics – SPIEGEL ONLINE.

In the deep sea, bacon doesn’t last long | Deep Sea News

Now a pioneering experiment lead by forensic scientist Gail Anderson from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, is using dead pigs as a model for humans to gain insight. In this video, a pig carcass is tracked as it turns to bones in the ocean, capturing the scavengers that visit the body. Sharks are unable to tuck in since it’s enclosed (as is the octopus lurking at the end of the video), giving sea lice exclusive access to the remains. They enter orifices in droves to feast on the animal from the inside out and congregate on the cage bars to prevent other arthropods, like shrimp, from getting a bite. “By the end of the fourth day, the sea lice had left and the pigs were reduced to bones,” says Anderson.

via In the deep sea, bacon doesn’t last long | Deep Sea News.

Debating Biology and Culture « Bones Don’t Lie

 

Prior to the 1980′s, individual attributes like gender, age and ethnicity were assumed to be biological traits that manifested themselves in different cultural ways. In archaeology this meant that if we found a grave filled with weapons, but the skeleton too degraded to do an analysis of sex, we could assume it was male. 

Debating Biology and Culture « Bones Don’t Lie.

Skull Anatomy Tutorial

Skull Anatomy Tutorial.

The Himalayan Times : Forensic tool to track ivory traders – Detail News : Nepal News Portal

Even though trade in ivory has been banned, the poaching of tuskers continues unabated, threatening African elephants.However, Alfred Roca, assistant professor at the University of Illinois, has found a way to determine where the ivory comes from. He and his team have sampled elephants at 22 locations in 13 African countries to get sequences of their mitochondrial DNA mtDNA.mtDNA is the DNA located in mitochondria, structures within cells that convert the chemical energy from food into a form the cells can use. Most DNA is “nuclear”, found in the cell nucleus.What makes mtDNA a good marker for tracing the origin of ivory is first, that it is transmitted only by females and second, the fact that female elephants do not migrate between herds, the journal Evolutionary Applications reports.Roca and collaborators wanted to match these fragments to elephants from a specific location.

via The Himalayan Times : Forensic tool to track ivory traders – Detail News : Nepal News Portal.

From Arab News: Rare artifacts excavated in Kingdom’s al-Maqar area

JEDDAH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah on Tuesday expressed his satisfaction over the discovery of rare antiques during recent excavations that revealed that people in the Arabian Peninsula were interested in horses 9,000 years ago.

Prince Sultan bin Salman, chairman of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, and members of the excavation team briefed the king on the importance of the artifacts that were found in Al-Maqar in the central region of Saudi Arabia.

via From Arab News: Rare artifacts excavated in Kingdom’s al-Maqar area.

Best Forensic Artist: Cowetan Lawson honored for work to assist lawmen – The Times-Herald

Coweta County resident Marla Lawson was honored this week by a statewide law enforcement association for her work as a forensic artist.

The special accolade was given at the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police 50th anniversary banquet held in Savannah. The award was presented by GACP President Stan York of Sandersville.

via Best Forensic Artist: Cowetan Lawson honored for work to assist lawmen – The Times-Herald.

Notebooks | Notebooks | dOCUMENTA(13)

This notebook is a philosophical and cultural-critical examination of Israel’s policy of occupation. The architect Eyal Weizman uses the term “forensic,” derived from the Latin forensis, “forum,” to reconstruct the history of attacks on and violations of buildings. Drawing from the fields of judicial medicine and psychiatry, “Forensic Architecture” serves in revisiting damaged Palestinian houses and ruins. Weizman, who is a member of the collective Decolonizing Architecture, founded in 2007, describes Forensic Architecture as “the archaeology of the very recent past” and “a form of assembling for the future.” Forensic Aesthetics mirror relationships and logics of action, objective and subjective probabilities; what is needed is an interpreter who addresses the public in the name of a destroyed home.

via Notebooks | Notebooks | dOCUMENTA(13).

Eyal Weizman – Mengele’s Skull and Forensic Architecture | Progressive Geographies

In 1985, the body of Josef Mengele, one of the last Nazi war criminals still at large, was unearthed in Brazil. The ensuing process of identifying the bones in question opened up what can now be seen as a third narrative in war crime investigations—not that of the document or the witness but rather the birth of a forensic approach to understanding war crimes and crimes against humanity.

In the period coinciding with the discovery of Mengele’s skeleton, scientists began to appear in human rights cases as expert witnesses, called to interpret and speak on behalf of things—often bones and human remains. But the aesthetic, political, and ethical complications that emerge with the introduction of the thing in war crimes trials indicate that this innovation is not simply one in which the solid object provides a stable and fixed alternative to human uncertainties, ambiguities, and anxieties.

via Eyal Weizman – Mengele’s Skull and Forensic Architecture | Progressive Geographies.

Where Sherlock Holmes’ Popular Image Came From | Design Decoded

Sherlock’s unmistakeable deerstalker hat, for example, was never mentioned in the printed words of the Holmes books. When Sidney Paget illustrated Doyle’s story, The Boscombe Valley Mystery, for publication in The Strand Magazine in 1891, he gave Sherlock a deerstalker hat and an Inverness cape, and the look was forevermore a must for distinguished detectives—so much so that while the deerstalker was originally meant to be worn by hunters (hence the name), the hat now connotes detective work, even without a detective’s head inside it.

Glen S. Miranker, a.k.a. A Singular Introspector, a.k.a, The Origin of Tree Worship, has one of the largest collections of Sherlock Holmes books, art, and ephemera in the United States. Fortuitously yesterday, while researching the illustrations of the Holmes canon, I discovered that part of Miranker’s collection is currently on view at the Book Club of California in San Francisco. I rushed right over.

As part of our series on Sherlock Holmes, I had been reading up on the visual depictions of Holmes and the extent to which the handful of artists who illustrated Arthur Conan Doyle’s texts over the years—namely Sidney Paget, Frederic Dorr Steele, and H.M. Brock—actually (arguably) did more to define our idea of the quintessential detective than the author himself.

via Where Sherlock Holmes’ Popular Image Came From | Design Decoded.