Detroit — Michigan State University is using a nearly $900,000 federal grant to help Detroit death-scene investigators examine bacteria and other microbes associated with dead bodies.

The university said Wednesday it will use the U.S. Justice Department grant to work with the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office. The grant is shared with Mississippi State University.

Michigan State entomologist and osteopathic medical specialist Eric Benbow says researchers will study the bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms collected at death scenes. Researchers plant to help investigators with their cases and test new approaches and techniques.

Benbow says the partnership will allow researchers to study microbial communities in real time, rather than relying on donated bodies that have been handled and cooled during transport.

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