Thursday, March 12, 2015

Bones, Firearms and Pathology... Oh My!

Pathology Autopsy Lab

"Today we went to the Crime and Punishment Museum again. One of our labs was about the causes of death. We learned about Medical Examiners, gun shot wounds, and stab wounds. I have always wanted to be a Medical Examiner. Even though you have to go to college like a doctor, you still get to do amazing things. I am so happy we did this lab."

"This morning we went to the Crime Museum for our three final labs. We started with a lab on forensic pathology. We learned about how an autopsy is conducted, and what the examiners look for. We also learned about the different types of injuries and markers that can help determine what happened to a victim. We also learned about the environment an autopsy is conducted in. Finally, we learned the type of education that is required to conduct an autopsy."

Looking at fetal pigs to determine the
manner of death.
Performing their first autopsy on fetal pigs.

Anthropology Lab

"Today for our second lab, we got to learn about anthropology and how it is used in forensic investigations. We learned how some states have medical examiners, some have coroners, and some have both. The medical examiners decide the manner, cause, and mechanism of death. One thing I learned is that the manner of death can be classified as pending on a toe tag, but that can not be the final decision of manner. We also got to look at bones and classify what animals they came from, or, if they came from humans, which gender they come from. This was interesting because we got to see how much bigger male bones are compared to female bones. I always thought that women's pelvic bones would be bigger but they are just more spaced out. This was a very interesting lab and it was very informational."

"The second lab of the day dealt with forensic anthropology. This was by far my favorite. We started with the history; the first case that used forensic anthropology was in 1849 in Boston. Then, we moved on to the approximately four stages an anthropologist goes through to identify the bones. First, identifying the substance to see if it is bone; second, if the bones are human; third, determining the gender of the person by identifying certain features in the bones; and lastly, specifics such as age and body type. We also learned how you can reconstruct a face once you have the skull. In all, we learned a lot about the specifics of being a forensic anthropologist and what it entails."


Firearms and Ballistics
"Today during a class on firearms, we discussed the different types of guns and their classifications. The first type of gun was the short firearms, which includes guns like the revolver and the handgun. The second type of gun was the shoulder rifle, which includes the shotguns and bored barrel rifles. The instructor showed their casings, as well as multiple bullets. She explained how handguns, like the GLOCK pistols, work by using a cross-section animation of one firing. She even had a working gun with the firing pin removed on display for everyone. She talked about gun shot wounds, and how cap bullets are designed to lodge themselves into their targets."

Gaining knowledge about the different types of bullets.

Telling the difference between a bullet entry and
exit out of a body.

"Today we did a firearms lab at the Crime Museum. We went over what the Firearms Examiner does in a crime scene investigation. This relates to how forensic biology is used in the world today because it shows how various parts of a crime scene can be traced back to criminals. I was wondering how they tested and matched the guns and bullets to the victim and to the suspect."

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