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Northern Michigan University to debut new `body farm'

Northern Michigan University file photo. (WLUK/Gabrielle Mays)

MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP) -- Northern Michigan University is planning a new forensic anthropology major that will include what school officials call the world's first cold-weather "body farm."

Body farms are research centers where the human body's decomposition is studied in various environments.

There are currently eight "body farms" across the globe, but all of those are in moderate to warm climates and relatively little is known about how a human body decomposes in cold weather.

The Michigan Public Radio Network reports that Northern Michigan University will debut a forensic anthropology major this fall that will include the world's first cold-weather body farm.

Alan McEvoy heads the university's Anthropology Department. He says the research facility will attract students, law enforcement and scientists for hands-on training and basic research.

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