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Next biometric identification: The Werewolf

Categories Biometrics News  |  Law Enforcement
Next biometric identification: The Werewolf
 

It can be forgotten sometimes that the biometrics has roles beyond identity security and surveillance. Like tracking down possible vampires.

A body from grave JB55 in the small U.S. state of Connecticut. It was buried in the early 1800s and dug up by scientists in 1990.

The dearly departed likely was considered a vampire by his neighbors in the town of Griswold.

He (the body was of a male) was buried with its arms crossed over its chest, which at the time was a message: If you have dug up this corpse, please put it back as it will rise up and drink your blood.

Parabon NanoLabs and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory were brought in to help put a name to the body, according to a story published in the study-news publication Study Finds.

The scientists reportedly had no concerns that they actually were working with an undead parasite.

They later published their findings with the sub-headline “From Y-STR typing and surname prediction to SNP profiling and genetic genealogy.” The slides at that link are illustrated but hardly ghoulish.

Biometric DNA analyses were performed, and in 2019, the armed forces lab found evidence suggesting the man – who, by the way, was suffering from tuberculosis when he died – might have been named Barber.

Parabon used a machine learning-supported whole-genome targeting approach that revealed the man had fair and freckled skin, brown eyes and brown or black hair.

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