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Author Topic: Tsunami victim identification  (Read 3289 times)

Offline vronsky

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Tsunami victim identification
« on: 09/01/2005 22:06:42 »
The Sunday Telegraph recently carried an article entitled
'Time is the big enemy' as scientists check the DNA of the dead (URL below) which suggested that time was running out to identify tsunami victims from DNA:  "When bones age, they no longer yield the marrow needed for DNA identification."

If this is the case how are victims being identified from graves around Srebrenica where many of the corpses were exhumed years after their burial?

newbielink:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/01/09/wtsun09.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/01/09/ixnewstop.html [nonactive]


 

Offline neilep

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Re: Tsunami victim identification
« Reply #1 on: 13/01/2005 20:18:29 »
quote:
Originally posted by vronsky

The Sunday Telegraph recently carried an article entitled
'Time is the big enemy' as scientists check the DNA of the dead (URL below) which suggested that time was running out to identify tsunami victims from DNA:  "When bones age, they no longer yield the marrow needed for DNA identification."

If this is the case how are victims being identified from graves around Srebrenica where many of the corpses were exhumed years after their burial?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/01/09/wtsun09.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/01/09/ixnewstop.html



Hi Vronsky,

I read the article (well scanned over it )...but did notice this paragraph:

The forensic teams know, however, what the families do not: that corpses quickly lose their physical characteristics. A body submerged in water loses all its hair. Dental identification is meaningless if a body has been battered by waves or debris. When bones age, they no longer yield the marrow needed for DNA identification.

In Thailand, many bodies were carried out to sea and others were crushed under buildings. They decompose rapidly in the high temperatures and humidity. The scientists warn that it could take months for DNA matches to be processed.


I think that may explain it, as in this particluar case the circumstances have created a situation where the DNA is destroyed rapidly, and therfore makes identification much harder.

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Re: Tsunami victim identification
« Reply #1 on: 13/01/2005 20:18:29 »

 

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