HOT Bones at the Science & Technology Week!

HOT Bones will participate in the Science & Technology Week taking place from the 20th to the 26th of November. We will be at the Unidade de I&D Química e Física Molecular representing both this unit and the Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology of the Center for Functional Ecology to present some of the research we’re doing. We called this initiative “Se achas que há pouca química entre ti e o teu esqueleto, vem ver do que é(s) feito!” (Come see what are you made of, if you think there’s little chemistry between you and your own body”). Find additional information here.


Ana Vassalo and Adriana Mamede presenting their papers at the 16th conference of the INMLCF.

Our colleagues Ana Vassalo and Adriana Mamede represented HOT Bones at the 16th conference of the Instituto Nacional de Medicina Legal e Ciências Forenses

Ana Vassalo presented the paper “Gato por lebre: a fauna não é um proxy satisfatório dos humanos em estudos sobre a composição química do esqueleto” (Pig in a poke: fauna is not a reliable proxy of humans in research about the skeletal chemical composition). The remaining co-authors were Adriana Mamede, Maria Paula Marques, Calil Makhoul, Eugénia Cunha, Luís Batista de Carvalho and David Gonçalves.

Adriana Mamede presented the paper “Interrogando ossos queimados: avaliação das alterações térmico-induzidas em ossos humanos usando espectroscopia vibracional” (Questioning burned bones: assessing heat-induced changes in human bones through vibrational spectroscopy). The remaining co-authors were Luís Batista de Carvalho, Ana VassaloDavid GonçalvesCalil Makhoul, Stewart F. Parker, D. Xavier Viegas, Miguel Almeida, and Maria Paula Marques

This was their debut as podium presenters and they’ve done a great job! 

Calil Makhoul is the recipient for the EIT Health 2º Prize Award

We’re very proud of our colleague Calil Makhoul who has been awarded with the second prize for the EIT Health innitiative that took place at the University of Coimbra. This inniciative, that has the University of Oxford and the Imperial College of London as partners, is a seed funding program aimed at PhD students to to develop innovative ideas, products and services on the R&D results of their PhD dissertations. Calil participated with the project “Individualization Systems of Human Burned Remains”.
The awarding ceremony took place yesterday .
Congratulations to Calil!

New publication in Science & Justice!

The paper has the following title “Dead Weight: validation of mass regression equations on experimentally burned skeletal remains to assess skeleton completeness” and tests the MassReg app on the experimentally burned skeletons of the 21st Century Identified Collection of the Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology from the University of Coimbra. When compared with the more conventional method of comparing skeletal mass with reference values obtained on modern crematories, the app presented a better performance in most cases. Although initially developed for unburned skeletal remains, the MassReg appears to perform well on burned skeletal remains as well and appears to be a very useful tool to assess how complete a skeleton in combination with bone inventory. 

Media attention to the IRonBONE project

Our latest trip to the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory caught the eye of the BBC. Check out the piece broadcasted on the 8th of December of 2016, featuring our collaborators Maria Paula Marques, Luís Batista de Carvalho, Ana Vassalo from the University of Coimbra and Giulia Festa from the University of Rome.

3rd Meeting of the INMLCF

We attended the 3rd Meeting of the Instituto Nacional de Medicina Legal e Ciências Forenses that took place on the 9-11th of November, 2016. These were our talks and poster:

Aplicação do método de Lamendin para a estimativa de idade em dentes recentemente extraídos de uma amostra portuguesa actual
Santos I, Gouveia M, Cunha E, Gonçalves D

Estudo pioneiro sobre as variações pós-deposicionais em restos esqueléticos queimados e não-queimados: implicações para a bioantropologia
Amarante A, Ferreira MT, Cunha E, Gonçalves D

Individualização de vestígios humanos queimados dispersos e/ou misturados através da espectroscopia vibracional
Makhoul C, Cunha E, Batista de Carvalho L, Gonçalves D

The Force awakens? O efeito da gravidade na ocorrência de deformação térmico-induzida
Vassalo A, Mamede A, Ferreira MT, Cunha, Gonçalves D

Ana Amarante finished her MSc thesis

A new thesis based on the HOT project was brilliantly defended by Ana Amarante with the title Burned bones vs unburned bones: a pilot study about the impact of differential post-depositional taphonomy on bioanthropological research.

The thesis was presented under the Masters on Human Evolution and Biology at the Department of Life Sciences of the University of Coimbra. We intend to publish some of the results in 2017 and we’ll let you know when that happens.

Latest meetings

You can download here our latest posters!

85th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropology (13-16th April of 2016, Atlanta, USA)
Sex diagnosis of the human dentition after heat exposure: the potential of cementum-enamel junction and root dimensions
Gouveia M, Santos IO, Santos AL, Gonçalves D
50th Dental Anthropology Scientific Symposium (9-11th June of 2016, Zagreb, Croatia)
A peek into burnt teeth: analyses of dental tissues for age at death estimation
Santos IO, Gouveia M, Cunha E, Gonçalves D (2016)


Check out our latest publications!

Marques MP, Gonçalves D, Amarante A, Makhoul C, Parker S, Batista de Carvalho LA (accepted) Osteometrics in burned human skeletal remains by neutron and optical vibrational spectroscopy. RSC Advances, 6: 68638-68641 DOI: 10.1039/C6RA13564A

Vassalo A, Cunha E, Batista de Carvalho LA, Gonçalves D (accepted) Rather yield than break: assessing the influence of human bone collagen content on heat-induced warping through vibrational spectroscopy. International Journal of Legal Medicine. DOI: 10.1007/s00414-016-1400-x

Gonçalves D, Pires AE (2016) Cremation under fire: a review of bioarchaeological approaches from 1995 to 2015 Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences. DOI: 10.1007/s12520-016-0333-0