The body of a woman was found in the woods. Some hair fibers found on the body were sent to the crime lab for analysis.The end of the hair attached to the body were gray, but the tips of the hair...

The body of a woman was found in the woods. Some hair fibers found on the body were sent to the crime lab for analysis.

The end of the hair attached to the body were gray, but the tips of the hair showed that it had been dyed. The distance from the root of the hair to the beginning of the dyed area measured 8 mm. Investigators determined that the victim's hair had last been dyed on August 1, 2004. Assuming the hair grows at the rate of .44 mm per day, approximately what date did the woman die? Explain your answer.

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bandmanjoe | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Well, this boils down to simple mathematics.  If the hair grows at a rate of .44 millimeters per day, all one would have to do is divide the distance to the dyed part by the rate of growth.  If that were 8 millimeters divided by the rate of growth, which is .44 millimeters per day, the answer would be 18.18, a little over 18 days.  If you add that to the date of the dyeing of the hair, August 1, that would affix the date of death at or around August 19, or possibly August 20, what with the partial day left over.  Forensic science is an area that combines all the scientific disciplines together to provide answers in crime scenes, such as the time of death, the method of death, and the ascertainment of evidence to support theories of death.  The popularization of forensic science has been the focus of television shows such as "CSI, New York".

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