We often wonder how those forensic shows work, and how do they determine whom each person was. Now I have some answers. Forensics often include deceased human in them, and they use forensic equations to figure out the height of the person depending on their limb bones. If you’re wondering about how the different genders and races effect the equations, you’re about to figure out. For each race, there is a different equation; there are the African Americans, the Caucasians, and the Asians. In other words, if you were to measure the length of a limb, you can figure out the height of that person, only if you knew their race and gender. How well do these equations work? Very well. You can tell because usually in a crime scene, there will be some kind of trace left behind, most likely a body part, and using forensic equations you can figure out the height. Using the height you can match it to a missing person report, and figure out who the limbs belong to.

There is a con, what if something goes wrong? Well first lets see what could go wrong. There is a chance of mistaking the race or gender, and the whole equation could be off. Maybe the bone is missing a chunk and you cannot use the proper equation, or you could use the – for example – ulna bone equation, when the bone was actually the tibia. Also the equations are not always 100% accurate, sometimes not even 90%. But the bright side is they could improve these equations and actually make it more specific. They can maybe specify the different races a bit more, for example instead of Caucasians; they could do Americans, and Europeans, making the accuracy a bit higher.

Lots of cases may still remain a big mystery to forensic scientists, and there is a lot we still could discover in forensics. But that’s all I know for now. Someday maybe we could all solve our own cases, and have our own special on solving forensic cases.

Julie,

I think that your blog post is very creative and descriptive. You did a great job of grabbing the reader’s attention and sharing your ideas so they are easy to understand. If you had to be a full-time forensic anthropologist, what do you think would be the hardest part of matching bones to people?