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Old 08-30-2010, 08:39 PM   #1
Potemkin
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Default How A Cadaver Made Your Car Safer

http://jalopnik.com/5622667/how-a-ca...your-car-safer

How A Cadaver Made Your Car Safer

A highly-promoted feature in the 2011 Ford Explorer are its new inflatable rear seat belts. The not-so-highly-promoted working stiffs that helped make it happen? Human cadavers. Here's how automakers still quietly use dead people to make your car safer.

When automakers and safety advocates show off the results of crash tests, they inevitably run video showing empty vehicles or crash test dummies; back in the 1980s, they even turned the dummies into lovable cartoon characters. What the industry doesn't like talking about is how much of the safety innovation in vehicles was built around testing cadavers.



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Old 08-30-2010, 08:49 PM   #2
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So, I can donate my body to Ford?
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Old 08-30-2010, 09:21 PM   #3
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I have signed up for a whole body donation, but I may rethink that. I don't mind teaching a Med Student, but don't particularly want to be splattered all over a testing lab in Detroit.
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:47 PM   #4
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Some of the testing is important, but some of them are really... strange.

A few years ago I was reading about one use of cadavers where they were tossing them onto a field to monitor decay rates. They had dozens of them sitting out in the sun.

I don't know about you guys, but that doesn't sound like something I'd sign up for.

BUT.... the reason they were doing that was something related to police investigations. Something about better pin pointing time of death or something.
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:54 PM   #5
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Jason, you're talking the University of Tennessee's Body Farm. Bodies are left in specific conditions - in sun or shade, wet or dry, clothed or naked - all manner of variables & periodically checked. Decay rates are examined & compared & the life cycles of insecst on/around the bodies are also noted. 'The Body Farm' is the nickname - if you Google The Anthropology Research Facility at University of Tennessee - Knoxville, tons of info available.
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason View Post
Some of the testing is important, but some of them are really... strange.

A few years ago I was reading about one use of cadavers where they were tossing them onto a field to monitor decay rates. They had dozens of them sitting out in the sun.

I don't know about you guys, but that doesn't sound like something I'd sign up for.

BUT.... the reason they were doing that was something related to police investigations. Something about better pin pointing time of death or something.
Ah, yes, the body farms. They have them all over the country because of the difference in bugs and climate. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_farm
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:56 PM   #7
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They were studying how the life cycle of different insects could help pinpoint the time of death, even tho the cadaver had been dumped out in the weather for various times. Seems that a bug finds a body, sets up "housekeeping", lays eggs that hatch and grow up and lay more eggs.

Sounds to me like a pretty grim business, but it has helped authorities set a general time of death to within weeks even tho the body has been out in the weather for months.
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