Tuesday, 21 March 2017

North Michigan University is getting an HTF too!

Although it hasn't been featured in the media as much as Florida's new facility you may also be interested to know that North Michigan University is also soon to be one of the very few places in the world to have a Human Taphonomy Facility. As I mentioned in my last post, this shows that HTFs are becoming more and more accepted by the public and forensic science communities and hopefully the news of new facilities opening will soon become a regular occurrence all over the world.

The facility is to to be used as a part of the University's new Forensic Anthropology programme being developed for the Autumn of 2017. The primary aim for this HTF is to study the freeze and thaw cycle on human cadavers in the Michigan climate. The 2.5-acre site, which was acquired by the university for only one dollar, is located four miles from the university campus and will be mainly used by forensic science students at the university, but it is also intended for police forces, cadaver dog trainers, and other forensic teams to be invited to use the facility.

Three facilities studying human decomposition have now been announced this year and it's only March! A UK facility has to be next!

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Florida is getting an HTF!

If you keep up with the world of Forensic Science then you may already know that it has been announced in the past couple of days that Florida is set to become host to the seventh 'body farm' in the United States. This is fantastic news as it shows that HTFs are becoming more and more accepted both by the public and by the Forensic Science community as a viable and necessary way to answer the profound questions we have about the process of Human decomposition.

The facility, located just North of Tampa, will be called the Florida Forensic Institute for Research, Security and Tactical Training - thankfully this has been shortened to FIRST! The facility is being hailed as state-of-the-art as it will be used as a proving ground for new forensic technology and techniques, such as virtual autopsies that use a combination of 3D scanning and CT technology, as well as providing a secure location to study human decomposition and train HRD dogs. Although the climate in Florida is similar to what the HTFs in Texas will experience, the everglades and some of Florida's unique wildlife will provide a large amount of new forensic issues to be solved.

With new 'body farms' also being proposed in Michigan and Amsterdam and Australia's AFTER facility now up and running successfully it is surely only a matter of time before an institution in the U.K. recognises that U.K. Forensic Science is severely lagging behind the rest of the world and takes the leap forward to develop our own HTF.