Death & Dying in the Digital Age Call for Papers

The 2011 CDAS summer conference will examine how new interactive digital technologies affect the social relationships of those who are dying, mourners and descendants.

Omega Laboratories Awarded CAP Accreditation for Hair Drug Testing

Omega Laboratories is only one of two laboratories in the world to receive this prestigious accreditation for drug testing in hair.

Woman Who Staged Fake Funerals Found Guilty of Federal Fraud Charges

A federal jury has convicted the last defendant indicted in relation to an insurance fraud ring that staged funerals and sought payouts.

Can Blowing a Vuvuzela Kill You?

A shirtless super-fan paints his body blue and dies from hypothermia before anyone notices, but at least he met his maker while supporting his favorite team!

Forensic Laboratories Develops First Oral Fluid Test for Ethyl Sulfate Detection

Some scientific publications suggest that EtG and EtS may be detectable for longer periods of time than ethanol.

Springfield MA-based Hospital Sued for Autopsy, Organ Removal Without Consent

The lawsuit contended doctors at Baystate Medical Center (BMC) performed an autopsy, removing several organs, without the required consent of next of kin.

What and Where were the Worst Natural Disasters?

Have you ever wondered if one earthquake or flood or heat wave was more deadly than another? Although Wikipedia is eschewed by many scholarly readers, some pages contain fascinating (and sometimes unconfirmed) information. Their “List of natural disasters by death toll” is one such page, and you can find a warning on that page that most numbers are estimates and often are in dispute.

The 1918 Flu Pandemic

Did you know that the 1918 flu pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), was the origin for all flu pandemics during the past century? Although the flu existed before 1918, scientists later discovered that the 1918 flu had ties to the H1N1 flu that exists today. None of the viral descendants from 1918, however, approaches the pathogenicity of the 1918 parent virus.

Access to Autopsy Records

How can you tell if an autopsy was conducted on an ancestor? Or, if you plan to conduct research on health, environment and correlations, can you use autopsy records for your work? Autopsy records in hospitals, medical examiner and coroner’s offices are usually kept for decades or longer. While family members can request and expect to obtain a copy of the autopsy report many years later, it may be difficult to obtain some autopsy records depending upon what you plan to do with those records. Some states require that the next-of-kin family member make the request.

Understanding Perpetrator Profiling

News is escalating in Rocky Mount, as CNN and other venues visit this eastern North Carolina town to determine whether a string of recent murders is the work of a serial killer. According to one story, local authorities announced last month that the FBI was helping investigate the series of murders that date back to 2005. The bodies of five black women with similar profiles have been found partially clothed and abandoned in remote locations outside the city during the past few years, prompting national media attention.