The first thing to do by a forensic pathologist when a dead body is found is to determine the exact time when the person died. Some of the ways to determine the time death are to measure the body temperature or to observe the activity of insects. However, these methods do not give any result on the corpses that are found in the water. A research performed on mice was recently posted in the ACS’ Journal of Proteome Research, stating that bone proteomics could play an essential role in determining the time of death.
The accurate determination of time death plays a crucial role in stating what has caused the death, helping the investigation of possible murder. The challenge comes when the dead body has been staying for a long time underwater.
Bone Proteomics Can Help Scientists Determine The Time Of Death With Higher Accuracy
The Post-mortem submerged interval is hard to determine when taking into consideration factors like the water temperature, salinity, the depth at which the body was found, and the bacteria present in the area. The only thing that could help the scientists is to analyze the bones structure, which is way stronger than the soft tissues.
The team of researchers has been conducted by Noemi Procopio, who believes that the proteins in bones can be of paramount importance when trying to determine the time spent by the corpses underwater. Therefore, the team has places mouse carcasses in individual boxes with water containing chlorine, saltwater, tap water, and pond water.
Then, they extracted the leg bones of the mouse to analyze the proteins inside them with the help of mass spectrometry. They have managed to identify a series of trivial factors that are responsible for helping the PMSI estimation when it comes to differential aquatic environments. In addition to the bone proteomics method, the researchers understood that the period spent under the water is more important than the type of water in determining the time of death.