For the first time, researchers have used synchrotron imaging to study both the size and spread of bullet fragments in big game shot by hunters.
The lead in some bullets used for hunting deer, moose, and elk is toxic to the humans who eat the harvested meat and to scavenger animals that feast on remains left in the field.
A team of researchers from the Canadian Light Source at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) and the College of Medicine at USask has for the first time used synchrotron imaging to study both the size and spread of bullet fragments in big game shot by hunters. Their findings were published today at 2pm E.T. in PLOS One.
Like a scene right out of the hit television series CSI, the research team fired bullets into blocks of ballistic gelatin – the same material used by law enforcement agencies for ballistic testing – and examined the resulting fragments using synchrotron imaging.
The BMIT beamline at the CLS enabled them to distinguish lead fragments from other materials used in bullets and bone fragments. To better simulate hunting, the team encased deer bone within the ballistic gelatin (which is a similar density to flesh).
Read more on the Canadian Light Source website
Image: Adam Leontowich holding block of ballistic gelatin at the BMIT beamline at the CLS