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Researchers examine museum mummy

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Using a C-T scan, researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute had a chance Wednesday to examine a mummy from the Buffalo Museum of Science.

The event is part of scientific research in connection with a mummy exhibit coming to the Museum of Science. The museum has long had a mummy from South America about which it knows very little.

The hope of the researchers involved in last night's scan is to learn things like the age or sex or even the cause of death.

It's going to be about three weeks until hard information is ready although the scan was examined last night.

"Roswell Park is both a clinical care and a research and education enterprise. And, this project really encompasses all three," said Chief Academic Officer Richard Hershberger. 

"It's an opportunity for our diagnostic radiologists to study and do a virtual autopsy on a specimen. It's an opportunity to do research because, again, it's such an unusual specimen, an unusual human body for us to probe and for us to understand."

Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news

What was being done in Roswell Park is what several scientists say is a "virtual autopsy" examination without damaging the body. That's why no DNA samples were taken because that would have led to removing some sample of the body of the mummy child, thought to be under the age of two.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.