The UK authorities may give permission to open the first body farm in this country. It is an external laboratory in which the process of decomposition of living organisms - and more specifically people - is examined. Forensic experts are already looking for volunteers who will agree to give up their bodies after death.
Currently there are only nine body farms in the world. Seven of them were founded in the United States. Similar laboratories are located in Australia and the Netherlands. The body farms are used for experiments on human corpses. The remains are left on the ground, and the researchers observe the decomposition process. In other cases, corpses are buried, immersed in water or hanged on a tree. The point is to understand how the human body decomposes under different conditions.
Certainly it is quite a controversial idea. So far, Britain has been conducting such tests on animals - mostly on pigs. But this may change soon. Dr Anna Williams, an anthropologist at Huddersfield University, is in talks with the Human Tissue Authority (HTA), an executive non-departmental public body of the Department of Health. Authorities are reportedly interested in opening such a laboratory.
Thanks to the body farms, scientists can look at the decay of human corpses, which helps in forensic medicine. Researchers can more easily determine the time of death and find potential killers based on the biological material that can be found in the victim's body. The body farms have allowed the United States to identify a serial killer and rapist from Chicago, John Wayne Gacy, who murdered 33 people.