Science

Vermont Enlists Crime-Fighting Mummies
A childhood fascination with archaeology and a chance encounter with a 2,700-year-old Egyptian mummy are helping Vermont doctors and law enforcement officials find truth in some of the most challenging of modern-day crimes: the unexplained deaths of young children.

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Instrumentation and model facility scientist Carl Silver holds the model of a skull made from a CT scan of the 6th century B.C. Egyptian mummy owned by the Fleming Museum in Burlington, Vt. After spotting the mummy at the University of Vermont's Robert Hull Fleming Museum in Burlington, Dr. Jason Johnson, a radiology resident, arranged to have it put through his hospital's state-of-the-art CT scanner. He wanted to know about the life of what is believed to be the remains of an Egyptian servant girl of about 14 -- and what led to her death.

AP Photo/Toby Talbot

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Silver works on the model of a skull made from a mummy. The hospital's CT scans helped doctors create a full-size, three-dimensional model of the mummy's skull -- thanks to the latest technology and the sharp detail obtained by cranking up the power on the scanner to levels unsafe for living patients. 

AP Photo/Toby Talbot

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A mummy is seen before a CT scan at Fletcher Allen Health Care, the teaching hospital at the University of Vermont, in Burlington, Vt.

AP Photo / University of Vermont, Rajan Chawla

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Janie Cohen, left, the Fleming Museum Mummy, Dr. Jason Johnson, and Aimee Marcereaum DeGalan stand with a mummy for scanning at Fletcher Allen Health Care, the teaching hospital at the University of Vermont, in Burlington, Vt. 

AP Photo / University of Vermont, Rajan Chawla

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Since this mummy was scanned in November, physicians working with the Vermont medical examiner's office have started using the techniques on infant deaths, which average about one a month."It was tremendously helpful," said Washington County State's Attorney Tom Kelly, who used the information gleaned from a CT in a recent case to help determine the age of the bone breaks in a young abuse victim. 

AP Photo/Toby Talbot

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Radiologist Jason Johnson shows a CT scan of the 6th century B.C. Egyptian mummy owned by the Fleming Museum on in Burlington, Vt. 

AP Photo/Toby Talbot

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Medical examiners across the country are turning more to CT scanners to complement traditional autopsies and X-rays, said Dr. Mary Ann Sens, the president of the National Association of Medical Examiners and chair of the pathology department at the University of North Dakota's medical school.

AP Photo/Toby Talbot

Vermont Enlists Crime-Fighting Mummies

A childhood fascination with archaeology and a chance encounter with a 2,700-year-old Egyptian mummy are helping Vermont doctors and law enforcement officials find truth in some of the most challenging of modern-day crimes: the unexplained deaths of young children.

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