Faculty Mentor

Misty Weitzel




The rate of soft tissue decomposition is greatly affected by being submerged in water. The purpose of this research is to examine how water affects the rate of soft tissue decomposition. More specifically we will document differences between how pool water (containing chlorine), lake water, and salt water affect the rate of decomposition differently by submerging one domestic pig rib in each water source for an equal amount of time. One pig rib will be kept out of water to serve as the control for the experiment. We will be documenting the decompositional changes for each rib every week. Previous research suggests that just being in water, as opposed to buried in soil, alters the rate of decomposition because it allows for articulating joints to move in three dimensions. We want to investigate this further to see if different kinds of water will either speed up the rate of decomposition or slow it down.




Criminal Justice


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