PU Scientist called for examination of 9/11 skeletal remains


It is a moment of immense pride to discover that a scientist (forensic anthropologist) of Panjab University has been invited to work with a team on the examination and identification of the skeletal remains of victims of the tragic 9/11 incident where two planes crashed into the world trade centre as the world stood and watched in horror.

He is Mr. J.S Sehrawat, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Panjab University. As stated by the official press release, he has been invited to work as a visiting scientist at New York City Chief Medical Coroner’s office (OCME), Manhattan (New York) for the entire month of February. The main purpose of this project is to assemble an international team of able minded individuals to identify the human skeletal remains of 9/11 World Trade Centre (WTC) disaster victims by using tested and tried techniques. Mr. Sehrawat is among the top eight world forensic scientists who have been selected to this programme as a credit to their academic background and specific experiences. He has already been working with identification strategies of human remains of soldiers from 1857 excavated from an abandoned well at Ajnala (Amritsar) in March 2014 amongst other endeavours.

In technical terms, a forensic scientist such as Mr. Sehrawat is supposed to annalyze the skeletal samples making observations of the bone structure, density, breaks and chemical nature. This helps them deduce the cause of death of the individual and also helps with identification. Further, the analysed information is used to reconstruct the scenario in which the individual lost his or her life. The technique is relatively young but has been used before to gather information on murder victims, mass deaths and mysterious skeletons found years after death.

OCME provides a full range of advanced services in forensic science with largest DNA crime laboratory in the world and admission to this project will be a leap in terms of Mr. Sehrawat’s career as an anthropologist and the international relations of our scientific community as a whole. During his visit he will also participate and present an oral scientific paper at 70th Annual Meeting of American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) being held at Washington State Convention Centre, Seattle (Washington) from February 19-24. The programme is designed to provide highly specific training and professional development by providing access to world class resources and facilities as well as an ideal environment. International interest in this programme has been extremely high and there are only a few openings made every year.

And it is indeed a lifetime moment for Me. Sehrawat, his related associates and our very own Panjab University worth cherishing forever.

About the Author:

Tarun Sharma (PGGC 11)

Tarun Sharma
(PGGC 11)

I am an ordinary boy trying to see the extraordinary every day, eccentric, complicated, creation driven and obsessed with science, art and  trans-humanism, its time i shared my perspective.


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