The Scent of Death (and Why It’s Important) — Speaking of Chemistry

Studying odors from corpses may sound macabre, but it’s actually a virtuous vocation. Researchers in this field are helping find missing bodies lost in natural disasters or hidden by murderers. ↓↓More info and references below↓↓

Huge thanks to Mary Cablk for her help with this episode and for sharing her amazing photos and videos of Inca. Learn more about Mary’s work here:

If this episode leaves you wanting more macabre chemistry, check out the featured resources below.

Scientists search for death’s aroma | C&EN

Stiff | A New York Times bestseller by Mary Roach

Forensic Anthropology Center | University of Tennessee

And did you know you can buy putrescine and cadaverine online? It’s true. Google it.

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Speaking of Chemistry is a production of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly news magazine of the American Chemical Society.
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