Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers - Study Guide Chapter 3, Life After Death Summary & Analysis

Mary Roach
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Chapter 3 addresses human decay. Roach visits the University of Tennessee Medical Center, which is home to the only field research on the decay of human bodies. Researchers leave bodies to decay in natural environs and then monitor their stages of chemical composition. This data assists criminal investigations by creating scientific baselines to determine time of death. Smell, temperature, insect infestation, and other factors are monitored and considered.

Research professor Arpad Vass, the author's escort, introduces Roach to a series of cadavers, each one more decayed than the last. The first is an overweight man in sweat pants. Small sections of skin are sloughing off, maggots playing just below the surface. Vass explains that the resident bacteria, once held in check by the immune system, are now devouring the tissue.

The second cadaver, a horribly distended male corpse, is Vass's...

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This section contains 505 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers Study Guide
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