Inside of Nose Reveals Time of Death, University of Bari Study

Published: Oct 05, 2011

TINY finger-like projections lining the nose continue to beat after death. Since the beating of these cilia slows at a predictable rate, forensic teams should be able to estimate time of death more accurately. Pinpointing precisely when someone died can be a challenge for investigators. They can look at body temperature or decomposition rate, but these indicators can be confounded by temperature, or whether the person was involved in a struggle, say, shortly before death. The beating rate of cilia could provide an additional tool to help decide time of death, especially if it was within the previous 24 hours.

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