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  • The Nose Knows

    by Antonio Parente

    Have you ever heard the expression the nose knows? It sounds kind of silly when you think about it. What can the nose really know? Some researchers at the University of Bari in Italy have put this notion to the test and it turns out that your nose can tell them your time of death.

    Even though television shows make it seem so easy to find the time of death, in real life it isn't quite as easy as it looks. However, some researchers at the University of Bari in Italy just may have found a way to make it easier. The researchers have discovered that the small cilia, which are tiny finger like items in the nose that keep the mucus flowing, can actually help to determine the TOD (Time of Death.)

    The way that examiners determine the TOD now includes rigor mortis, heat of the body and decomposition. All of which can be impacted by other factors making it difficult to pinpoint the exact time of death. The only way to know for sure the exact time of death is if someone was present when the person died. That is all fine and good, but for homicide cases I don't think the murderer is going to stick around to divulge this information.

    On a theory researchers took samples of cilia from 100 recently deceased bodies and examined them. What the researchers found out is that the cilia stays alive up to 20 hours after the body dies. The rate at which the cilia dies off was consistent in each sample. The good thing about this is that no outside factors did anything to change the results. This is good news for examiners because they can have a more precise way to determine TOD. I guess you can say the nose knows.


    Article Published 10/28/11

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