Researchers at Baylor University, in Waco, Texas, have developed a cheminformatics method for correlating spectra with the time course of protein and water loss from skeletal remains. Their approach is relatively simple and could cut the time taken to determine the "post-mortem interval" of bones. The team says their combined regression models can be as accurate at providing a date of death between four and nine days for bones that are up to 90 days old. "In perfect conditions in the laboratory, the method looks very encouraging," says team leader Kenneth Busch. The approach could greatly assist crime scene investigators and forensic scientists especially in places where heat and humidity are high and the flesh weak.