It’s a bit gruesome to consider, but sometimes a body is so badly decomposed that it is not possible to obtain DNA or fingerprints. To overcome this scenario Dr. Tim Thompson of Teesside University in Middlesbrough, UK has created a program that uses data from a laser scanner to build a visually and texturally realistic representation of human bones.
The software was originally designed to aid the teaching of subjects such as anthropology and biology, but the researchers are now considering how to apply the sophisticated technology to forensics. Turns out it is quite a challenge to laser scan bone due to its porosity and subtle variations.
A person’s sex, age, height and illnesses that leave a mark on the skeleton can be determined.