Vanishing cells reveal murder most foul


DID the victim die of a stab wound, or was the injury inflicted after death? Existing forensic techniques are limited in their ability to determine exactly when a stab wound was inflicted, but experiments on the bodies of 64 stab victims may point to a more precise method. It involves counting white blood cells called mast cells in and around the edges of a wound, which appear to vanish as healing begins. Mast cells aid healing by releasing granules containing growth factors to rebuild tissue, and enzymes that destroy dead flesh. After releasing their granules,
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