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WVLT-TV Local 8 Now recently interviewed Dawnie Steadman, director of UT’s Forensic Anthropology Center, for a story examining why more and more people are choosing to forgo burials upon death and instead, donate their bodies to science.

Steadman noted that the center has seen an increase in body donations. Currently about 4,000 people are on the pre-donor list. Donors are placed in the center’s outdoor research facility, commonly known as the Body Farm, and are studied throughout the decomposition process. Their bones are eventually collected and provide opportunities for researchers to study modern human skeletal variation, pathology and trauma.

“I think people are more tuned in as to how bodies contribute to various aspects of science and they want to feel their body is useful,” Steadman told the television station. Read and watch the full story online.