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Body Identification Helped By Facial Reconstruction Database

March 12, 2008

A researcher from the Physical Anthropological Laboratory of the University of Granada has developed the most complete database today to identify human remains and bodies in advanced states of decomposition using 3D computerized techniques for facial reconstruction.

This method will reduce the cost and time needed in identification processes and it will avoid the need to perform an expensive, unnecessary DNA test since facial reconstruction will provide additional information that will be used to decide whether it is advisable to carry out the DNA test or not.

Thanks to Lorena Valencia Caballero, the author of this technique, forensic doctors will be able to determine the general and individual facial features of the person. Miguel Botella L³pez, the director of the Physical Anthropological Laboratory, has led this study; and since it has produced a complete database, the researchers are now looking for a company or research group to develop the relevant computer software.

Mediterranean features

Doctor Lorena Valencia Caballero states that, although there are some similar methods developed in countries such as the United States, England or Australia, there are no databases for the identification of individuals with Mediterranean features. The doctor needed the facial information from a total of 33 deceased individuals and 154 people, chosen in Andalusia (Granada) and Castile La Mancha, in order to elaborate this project.

This database is useful to recognize parameters such as the connection between each person’s skull and face as well as to establish the depth of the facial soft tissue and the individual facial features. The system developed from the research provides information about both the bones and the facial soft tissue, something which had never been achieved before.

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University of Granada

Some of the research results, developed thanks to a research fellowship from the Spanish Agency for International Co-operation, have been recently published in the Spanish Journal of Physical Anthropology.




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