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! 

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

We attended the first conference of the APCF and the 68th Annual Meeting of the AAFS!

HOT Project related researches were presented in these two events. Podium and poster presentations were given at the 1st conference of the Associação Portuguesa de Ciências Forenses in Porto (February 12).

Discrimination of burned human remains through vibrational spectroscopy
Makhoul C (presenter), Batista de Carvalho L, Cunha E, Gonçalves D

In Las Vegas, our talk at the AAFS meeting (February 22-27) had the following title: 

Forensic examination of burned human skeletal remains: shifting the paradigm
Gonçalves D, d’Oliveira Coelho J, Makhoul C, Santos I, Vassalo T, Ferreira MT, Batista de Carvalho L, Cunha E (presenter)


HOT Project at BBC!

Following our experiments at ISIS (Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK), we have been getting some media attention. Our project was one of the researches focused on the BBC World Service show Science in Action that was broadcasted yesterday (12th of November of 2015). You can stream the show here. Our burned bone research is mentioned in minute 11:40. You can also listen to the interview here:

The piece was published online here and our research is also highlighted at the ISIS website here.

Our thanks go to Jonathan Webb, Jack Stewart and all the wonderful team at Science in Action as well as to Emily Mobley at the Science and Technology Facilities Council.

Burned bones project at ISIS

It is no secret that one of the major objectives of the HOT project is to better understand heat-induced changes on human skeletal remains. This week, we are giving a major step to achieve that goal by using inelastic neutron scattering to document changes in both unburned bones and experimentally burned bones.
After a successful application, beamtime was attributed by ISIS at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (UK) to our project from the 4th to the 8th of November of 2015 to use the MAPS instrument. Maria Paula Marques (PI), Luís Batista de Carvalho and David Gonçalves, along with ISIS instrument scientist Stewart Parker, are making the analyses which can be followed live at the ISIS website. Visit the website to know more about the proton accelerator that we are using.