Forensic Science and Decay

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Forensic Science.

Investigating Time of Death.

Estimating the time of death can be done using the degree of rigor mortis, body temperature, stage of succession, extent of decomposition or using forensic entomology..

 Rigor mortis.

rigor mortis is the contraction of muscles in a dead body due to muscle cells becoming deprived of oxygen. ATP is required to keep the muscles in a relaxed state, as the muscles run out of ATP, the muscles become permanently contracted. then lysosomes break down and cause cell death, so the muscles can relax again. it is affected by,

1. the amount of ATP stored in the muscles after death. this depends on genetics, level of fitness and level of activity before death.

2. temperature of person when they die.

3. temperature of surrounding environment, or amount of clothing, immersion in water.

4. physical damage, such as burning, electrocution.

larger muscles will have larger stores of ATP in them, so they will reach full contraction later than other smaller muscles. Full contraction does not last very long.

Body Temperature.

at death, metabolic reactions which have created the body heat begin to slow, and eventually stop, causing body temperature of fall until it equals the temperature of its surroundings. this process is called algor is affected by,

1.clothes, as they insulate the body,

2. obesity…


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