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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Experimental study on postmortem formation of carbon monoxide.

Rats were drowned and kept immersed for 1 month in either boiled city water, or boiled or unboiled fresh water collected from a river. A small amount of carbon monoxide (CO) formed after death and a low carboxyhemoglobin (HbCO) saturation was found in blood and thoracic cavity fluid of the animals immersed in boiled city water and in boiled fresh water. A considerable amount of CO and a high HbCO saturation was observed in blood and thoracic cavity fluid in two out of three rats immersed in unboiled fresh water at 4-6 degrees C, and in one out of three at 6-16 degrees C. It is suggested that microorganisms in the water, in which the rats were drowned and kept immersed, and low temperatures of around 5 degrees C during storage, played an important role in the postmortem formation of carbon monoxide.[1]


  1. Experimental study on postmortem formation of carbon monoxide. Kojima, T., Yashiki, M., Une, I. Forensic Sci. Int. (1983) [Pubmed]
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