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Mummy CT Scans Help in Child Abuse Death Investigations

Posted Apr 27, 2011 6:00 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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New techniques developed for CT scans of a 2,700-year-old mummy are now being used to help determine the cause of death for young children.

Dr. Jason Johnson, a radiology resident, arranged to put a mummy from a University of Vermont museum under a CT scanner to learn more about the remains, thought to be those of a girl about 14 years old, the Associated Press reports. Scans on the mummy developed a three-dimensional picture of the girl’s skull. A high radiation dose was used that wouldn’t be safe for a living person.

The techniques developed for the mummy are now being used by the Vermont medical examiner’s office in its investigation of infant deaths, the AP story says.

"It made me feel good I came up with the protocol to work on the mummy," Johnson told the wire service. "I never sat up at night thinking, 'How can I save children from abuse?' "

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