Julie Hull, Forensic Science and Biology
“You are what and where you eat: An investigation of the link between environment and mineral composition in bone tissue.”
The proposed research involves the use of x-ray diffraction to analyze the mineral content of human bones. Previous studies have shown that a correlation exists between the geological mineral found in an individual’s bones and those found in the individual’s environment. The goal of this research is to establish a baseline of the typical mineral content found in the bones of humans recently residing in the state of Connecticut. Initial experimentation will include determining the best location from which to draw the bone sample along with the best sample conformation, intact or pulverized bone, to use for the study. Successful results would warrant further studies of bone samples from locations throughout the United States. A nation-wide, searchable database with bone mineral composition characteristics of distinct regions can then be built.