Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Bones Degrade and Fracture Differently Under Certain Environmental Conditions

14.05.2010
A new Baylor University study looking at the different fracture properties of bones at various stages of degradation has found that bones degrade and fracture differently under certain environmental conditions like sun, shade or in water. The Baylor study also found that some postmortem fractures look like they occurred perimortem – at or near the time of death – under some specific environmental conditions.

“Forensic anthropologists see a lot of damage on bones from animals or people and we have to determine whether it happened perimortem or postmortem,” said Dr. Lori Baker, associate professor of anthropology, archeology and forensic science at Baylor who helped lead the study. “This study gives insight into when changes to bones are expected to occur because that helps us pinpoint time since death.”

The Baylor study tested dozens of sheep long bones under a variety of environmental conditions like full sun, shade and in water. The Baylor researchers left the bones, which were the humerus, radius and ulna, in the different environmental conditions for times ranging from one week to four months. The researchers then applied blunt force trauma to the midshaft of each bone using a custom-designed test jig, which could apply a repeatable and controlled force that simulated the bone being hit by crowbar or pipe.

The results showed:

• All the bones degraded over time, however the rate at which the bones degrade greatly varies depending under which environmental condition they are exposed. The bones left in the sun degraded faster than bones left in shade or in water. The bones left in water maintained their strength the longest because they were less dehydrated.

• The biggest degradation change to the fracture properties of the bones happened in the first two weeks since death regardless of environmental condition.

• Forensic anthropologists know that if a bone break occurs postmortem, there will not be any fracture lines. If there are facture lines, the break occurred perimortem. However, the study found that at four weeks, if the bones were left in the sun or shade, the breaks had facture lines. This conclusion shows that even though the researchers knew the break happened postmortem, it appeared to have occurred perimortem.

• The bones would facture into a few large pieces up to four weeks. After four weeks, the bones would break into many, much smaller pieces.

“As the bone becomes more brittle and flaws start to appear, the bone would break into tiny pieces along the fracture lines,” said Dr. Carolyn Skurla, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Baylor who helped lead the study. “Forensic anthropologists have speculated and have anecdotal evidence that these findings are true but nobody has ever tested them. This study confirms some of things we thought were accurate.”

Matt Pene | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.baylor.edu/pr

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>