Researchers used cotton swabs to sample bacteria and other microbes from the skin of donated corpses placed in a field in Huntsville, Texas. Katie Hayes Luke for NPR hide caption

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Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

Tiny Witnesses: Microbes Can Tell When A Murder Victim Died

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Martin Luther King Jr., with his wife, Coretta, at a Harlem hospital after he was stabbed by Izola Ware Curry in 1958. AP hide caption

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AP

Might A Brush With Death Set The Stage For Greatness?

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Maria Fabrizio for NPR

A Diary Of Deaths Reminds Doctor Of Life

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Go on, guess what it's about. Marvel hide caption

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Marvel

Wolverine's Death: Superheroes And The Cycle Of Eternal Return

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Tattoo artist Peter van der Helm, shown in his studio in Amsterdam in December 2013, has set up a business to preserve the tattoos of the dead. Michael Kooren/Reuters/Corbis hide caption

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Michael Kooren/Reuters/Corbis

Erick Munoz stands by a photo of his wife, Marlise Munoz, at home in Fort Worth, Texas, on Jan. 3. She is being kept on life support in a local hospital against the family's wishes. Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images hide caption

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Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images