Western Carolina University

Cherokee 101

Cherokee has been spoken for thousands of years. However, during most of that time, it was never written down. There simply wasn’t a need to do it.

The Cherokee syllabary, with symbols based on letters from the Latin alphabet, was developed between 1808 and 1824. Unlike the traditional languages and alphabets to which we are accustomed, those symbols represent syllables, not just letters.

This is hello written in the Cherokee syllabary:

Training Cadaver Dogs

It turns out that students in the forensic sciences aren’t alone using Western Carolina University’s Forensic Osteology Research Station. The outdoor human decomposition research facility is also used to train cadaver dogs and their handlers.

That may sound unusual at first, because it would seem that a search dog simply follows its nose to do its job. But it turns out a search dog needs to be taught what it is searching for and human remains contain a wide variety of volatile compounds that the canine nose can detect.