Analysis of the samples revealed 452 organic compounds. At first, it looked like sulfur-containing chemicals could differentiate species, but there was too much variation among individual samples, and these compounds ended up being fairly short lived anyway. It turned out to be esters that were the key. These come from decomposing animal fat, and eight of them only appear in pig and human remains. Five esters are only found in human corpses, making it possible to distinguish people and pigs based only on the presence of these compounds.
With these chemicals identified, it may be possible to refine the training for cadaver dogs. Training with these specific compounds will help them identify human remains compared to other creatures. If you’re going to create a machine for the same task, now we know what exactly that machine has to look for. Before that can happen, the next task is to test the research in real life to see if whole bodies produce the same combination of esters when they decompose.
Source: Science – Geek.com
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