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Gov't to launch massive 2-day search for quake bodies


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'“You have to be very careful in touching the bodies because they quickly disintegrate. We cannot tell the bodies’ gender anymore, let alone their age,” he said.'

DNA, peeps. That said, this must be a very gristly and horrible task, and I wish those involved all the best (best it can be, I mean) and hope that they can bring closure to relatives who have lost loved ones.

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So many tasks to take on when a disaster stuck.....

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The dedication to recovering those lost is commendable, difficult to put into words other than, 'Be safe' both physically and psychologically while doing this incredibly compassionate task.

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I can only step back in appreciation for such valiant efforts to collect bodies. Do your best and know that as hard as it is, your job is essential to the recovery of us all.

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Smith. Think that one through. DNA?

When one suspects that a sample matches a person, it can be helpful, but I guess you are suggesting that every body found could be tested against a sample of what... a close relative?

So let's say they have what, 1000 unidentified bodies and there are 12,000 missing. I think that is about a jillion tests.

Or let's say you narrow it down by locale, where a body could be any of 500 people. What if it matches 5 people because of all the intermarriage. Or what if it matches none of them because of some hanky panky in the family tree. Or could it be a visitor? Or did the tides carry them northward? In none of those cases is any family going to be helped.

I don't know. I don't think even creative DNA use gets you anywhere.

We all know what this is, don't we? This is it. When this is over, there will be the odd surprise here and there, but we are going to close the book on the deceased and move on when this search effort is over. They are not planning on finding many bodies, but we have to move on.

This is closure.

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@klein2 Why not a searchable database of unidentified victims' DNA? Surely this is not as complicated as you make out. The missing relatives could submit a DNA sample and have a search run. Surely for parents of missing children this is the humane thing to do. Besides, harder has been done if you consider 9/11. From the guardian online: "After the September 11 attacks, 1,597 of the presumed 2,789 victims were identified from the DNA of 19,946 pieces of human remains found in the rubble". Unless you've lost a parent or a child, it isn't for you to say "move on...this is closure."

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This is too much, too little, too late as always. However it is getting done.

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"Surely this is not as complicated as you make out. The missing relatives could submit a DNA sample and have a search run."

Surely surely surely... You seem very sure. Well I won't argue, then. I guess Japanese people will never be able to be as smart as us. Too bad. Gosh. I wish they could figure out this technology stuff they keep talking about.

And you misunderstood my closure comment. I am saying that this will be the last of the publicized search efforts. The government is not expecting to find much after this. It will be the last large organized search, if not the last one. I will say it again, it is time for the survivors to move on unless we are going to make the whole region a cemetery.

Yuri, you and I agree on many things, but your statement is absurd. They have been finding bodies from Mar. 12. They had an aircraft carrier and about a hundred aircraft and at least as many boats out combing the oceans. Half the nation's SDF has been combing the rubble for six weeks. It is neither little nor late.

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