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By Johanna Brewer

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The excess of gas in the bloating stage can compromise the integrity of the skin, driving the cadaver into the advanced decay stage of decomposition, until skeletal remains. Insect succession has been largely used to estimate the PMI. The most important implication for PMI estimation is that carrion insect species differ in terms of growth rate, arrival time and position within the order of succession (Bird and Castner, 2010). , 2010). All of these factors pointed out that there are cases and situations where forensic entomology cannot be applied to estimate the PMI.

2013; Amann et al 1995). To address this concern, a molecular approach has been developed in the last years studies focused on postmortem microbial diversity. , 2013). , 2013). The changes in microbial communities after death can be used as an estimator of PMI. Figure 5. Present methodology used to study the microbial communities changes in decomposition process. The methodology consists basically in sample collection, which can be taken from the soil and swapping, scratching or dissecting the body tissues to be studied.

Figure 2. Types of methods for postmortem interval estimation. Based on chemistry parameters, Vass et al. , 1992) used Volatile Fatty Acids (VFA) from the soil solution to determine the time since death in human cadavers. New Approaches in Postmortem Interval (PMI) Estimation 29 VFA are breakdown products of both muscle and fat produced by the bacterial action on amino acids. This process is temperature dependent and because decomposition involves both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, both processes can form these products.

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