The researchers found that if they assumed tooth enamel radiocarbon content to be determined by the atmospheric level at the time the tooth was formed, then they could deduce the year of birth.
They found that for teeth formed after 1965, enamel radiocarbon content predicted year of birth within 1.5 years.
To determine year of birth, the researchers focused on tooth enamel.
Adult teeth are formed at known intervals during childhood.
Danielle Mc Leod-Henning is a program manager and physical scientist at NIJ.
Now, new applications for the technique are emerging in forensics, thanks to research funded by NIJ and other organizations.