Date of Graduation

Fall 2018

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Major

Biology

Research Sponsor

Dr. Janna Andronowski

First Reader

Dr. Qin Liu

Second Reader

Dr. Patricia Vineyard

Abstract

Human identification primarily uses long bones of the body such as femora and tibiae which have a high cortical bone amount, these are thought to contain the highest amount of DNA. However, current research shows this is not the case, cancellous bone could contain more DNA in the porous spaces than dense cortical bone. This study aims to measure the variation in the amount of cortical and cancellous bone taken from sampling sites of seven individuals from ten different skeletal elements: femur, tibia, middle rib, calcaneus, first cuneiform, patella, third metacarpal, third metatarsal, first distal phalanx, and cervical vertebra. This was done by measuring the volume of cortical and cancellous bone taken from sampling sites on each skeletal element across individuals. The sampling sites were scanned using Computed Tomography and analyzed with Osirix 10.0. Of the skeletal elements studied, those with the highest amount of cortical bone: femur and tibia were found to have significant variation in the bone type. Additionally the cervical vertebra were found to have the highest amount of cancellous bone and also had significant variation on bone type taken from the sampling sites. This implies that the high amount of either cortical or cancellous bone in different skeletal elements could contribute to variation.

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