Researchers Believe Skeletal Scans Could Be Newest Screening Technique

By Matthew Harwood

Logically it had to come to this. Researchers at Wright State Research Institute believe they have found the newest screening technology to identify terrorists and sexual predators: skeletal scans.

The six engineers and scientists that make up the team believe skeletal scans could be an almost impossible-to-defeat screening solution for airports, sports stadiums, amusement parks, and other public places because it scans below the skin and reveals parts of the human body that are hard to alter. That's right, your bones.

According to a Wright State University press release:

The adult skeleton has 206 bones. Size, shape, density and joint structure make each skeleton slightly different. Throw in an extra lumbar vertebrae or extra rib—which some people have—as well as previously broken bones, implants, screws and other identifying characteristics, and the signatures become even more individual. And the skeletal structural features are fairly stable throughout adulthood. X-rays, gamma rays or other forms of body scanning would be used to create a bone signature for each person. Wright State researchers are currently working on identifying key elements and measurements of the skeleton that differentiate one person from another.

As Research Engineer Phani Kidambi, who is helping lead the effort that got underway in October, put it: while nefarious people can change their faces with disguises, they can't disguise their bones. "Think about a scenario where the face doesn’t match, but the bones match,” Kidambi said. “That definitely is a person of extreme interest because it appears he’s tried to change his face.”



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