How many uses are there for a dead body? What? You Didn't Ask?

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Car manufacturers sometimes use cadavers in crash tests, according to Wired magazine. Researchers claim that, despite advances in dummy technology, there’s still nothing like good old flesh and bone to validate new safety features. Everyone knows that medical students rely on cadavers, too—but are there other unexpected uses for donated remains?Yes. Under the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, which most states have adopted, the best way to direct the use of your remains is by using a state-issued organ-donor card. If you choose to donate your body to research and education, you’ll likely end up being dissected by a medical student. But you could also elect to have your dead body help a student mortician learn his trade or spend a few months rotting away under the watchful eye of forensic scientists. As Mary Roach describes in her 2003 book, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, researchers at the University of Tennessee‘s Forensic Anthropology Center (colloquially referred to as the body farm) have been observing bodies decompose for nearly three decades. Professors and graduate students mimic the many ways a murderer might dispose of his victims—by burying them in a shallow grave, encasing them in concrete, stuffing them into car trunks, or wrapping them in plastic bags. They’ve discovered, among other stomach-turning things, that since bacteria release gas as they gorge on human flesh, you can sometimes determine time of death by measuring the cadaver’s bloatedness.

via How many uses are there for a dead body? – By Brian Palmer – Slate Magazine.

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