Research: Maples Center for Forensic Medicine
The William R. Maples Center for Forensic Medicine enables researchers from diverse fields to collaborate on projects that will address contemporary issues in forensic medicine. There are many new and exciting areas of research currently being examined by partners of the Maples Center. The Forensic Toxicology Laboratory and the C.A. Pound Human Identification Laboratory are attempting to discover the preservation rate of illegal substances such as cocaine and heroin in human bone. New areas of research in forensic medicine are being examined which include developing a digital graphic database of skeletal lesions and trauma, three-dimensional graphical interfaces, and use of improved methods of non-invasive data recording of soil stratigraphy. Three-dimensional graphic facial reproduction and the aging processes are new technologies under development. The C.A. Pound Human Identification Laboratory has been in the forefront in the development and use of facial reconstruction on skeletal materials (and on synthetic reproductions), as well as video-superimposition of photographs of subjects and cranial remains. These procedures are useful in identification of missing or unknown persons, and also identification of crime suspects (e.g., current photo with surveillance camera photo). These procedures will be constantly evaluated and improved with the greater capabilities afforded through the William R. Maples Center for Forensic Medicine. Other projects include using available technology such as magnetometers, ground penetrating radar, and infrared cameras to improve searches for clandestine graves.