Time of death with liver temperature

I’ve been watching CSI and some other crime shows for quite a while. Deducing the time of death of the victim is an important part of identifying the murderer. What I’ve always wondered was, why did they use the liver temperature? I can understand using the victim’s body temperature to estimate when she was killed. But why specifically the liver?

It turns out that the liver is a core organ of the human body. The liver has to be maintained within a narrow range of temperature for it to function optimally. This also means it’s more accurate for backward deduction. I wrote a short article about it in the October issue of Singularity, which you can download for free, or you can read it at Scribd.

Singularity Magazine October 2010

Singularity October 2010 issue

The October issue of Singularity is available for download. Get it now. It’s free.

In an act of serendipity, we have a Halloween-theme for this issue (although it’s stretching that definition). In this issue, we have:

  • A short story by my friend Grey Yuen. While the story is not scary, the character doing the monologue is. Can you guess his identity?
  • An exclusive interview with Alex Hall, a web developer in United Kingdom. Learn what it takes to create web sites in a team. We have a spider’s web on the cover. That counts as Halloween-themed, right?
  • A continuation of the Japanese learning article from September.
  • An exploration in forensic science about telling the time of death using the liver’s temperature.

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