Our laboratory just published the results of our in-depth study of the changes in the human skin microbiome that occur following death.
To do this, we swabbed the nose and ear canals of decomposing human bodies and then analyzed how the bacterial communities change through the course of decomposition. The goal of this work is to develop a statistical algorithm that we can use to estimate the time-since-death of a human corpse discovered in an uncontolled environment. We think we made great strides in this effort and outlined a path for how microbes can be used in forensic applications such as this one.
Here is a link to the study itself published in PLoS ONE.
And these press accounts do a great job explaining the work and its significance:
Foreign News Outlets:
The Economic Times
The Australian (subscription required)
The Asian Age
DPA German News Agency (in German)
ChinaVOA.com (in Chinese)
Sputnik Mundo (in Spanish)
RT Sepa Más (in Spanish)
MeteoWeb (in Italian)
Russia Today (in Russian)
Hope you enjoy!