When it comes to murder mysteries and other unexplained crimes, forensics can provide clues that will help solve a mystery. What they use to determine whodunit and how a crime happens, however, is far from ordinary.


Blowflies can blow anyone’s cover

When forensics wants to determine the time of death (TOD), they rely on blowfly maggots to let them in on a secret. As long as a body is discovered at least three days after it died, the larvae can provide clues, because they lay their eggs on a corpse within minutes of discovering it. Based on the most mature larvae, the forensics can tell the TOD. If there are toxins in the body, it will also show on the way blowflies develop.

Home microbes can tell who belongs to where

A house full of bacteria is nothing new. What is news is that researchers believe that the studies on home microbiome can help forensics find revealing puzzle pieces. This works on the premise that people have their own bacteria that populates a home and then move with the owner at the same time. That is, if you relocate, your bacteria relocate with you and then populate your new home. This means the microbes from your old house will also alter accordingly. So, theoretically, forensics can predict “whether a person has lived in this location, and how recently, with very good accuracy”, according to microbiologist Jack Gilbert.

Lead that leads


For years, dental records have been used to identify a Jane or John Doe. But a geologist from the University of Florida, George Kamenov, has found a better way to use teeth in gathering more clues, by analyzing traces of lead on them. Because lead ore deposits vary all throughout the world, it will give forensics a clue as to where a person lives, where he was born and whether or not he moved to another country. If that is not fascinating enough, lead can also tell a person’s age. This only shows that secrets, particularly crime related, don’t remain a secret for long.

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