Using X-rays for better IDs of remains is topic of...

Using X-rays for better IDs of remains is topic of ‘MTSU On the Record’

New science-based standards for identifying human remains based on X-rays was the subject of a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Alicja Lanfear, a lecturer in the MTSU Department of Biology, first aired May 23 on WMOT-FM (89.5 and You can listen to their conversation below.

Dr. Alicja Lanfear

Dr. Alicja Lanfear

With Ann Ross, an anthropologist at North Carolina State University, Lanfear established a standard system of assessing X-rays taken both before and after death for helping to establish the identities of human remains.

Forensic Journal logoThe standards will allow experts to determine the probabilities for correct identification. The researchers used evaluations of the side of the skull, the spine and the upper leg, since these skeletal regions are among the most frequently X-rayed in a clinical setting.

“One of the long end-term goals of this project is to have a well-defined set of point-by-point comparisons that can be made by any practitioner regardless of skill set and availability of real expertise in the matter,” Lanfear said.

Lanfear and Ross’ study was published in the American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology.

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at

For more information, contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.

— Gina Logue (