decomposition

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decomposition

 [de-kom″po-zish´un]
1. the separation of compound bodies into their constituent principles.
2. deterioration or decay of a substance.

pu·tre·fac·tion

(pyū'trĕ-fak'shŭn),
Decomposition or rotting, the breakdown of organic matter usually by bacterial action, resulting in the formation of other substances of less complex constitution with the evolution of ammonia or its derivatives and hydrogen sulfide; characterized usually by the presence of toxic or malodorous products.
Synonym(s): decay (2) , decomposition
[L. putre-facio, pp. -factus, to make rotten]

decomposition

(dē-kŏm′pə-zĭsh′ən)
n.
1. The act or result of decomposing; disintegration.
2.
a. Chemistry Separation into constituents by chemical reaction.
b. Biology Breakdown or decay of organic materials.

de·com′po·si′tion·al adj.

decomposition

The physical putrefaction and decay of a body, which is slowed by immersion in water (especially cold water) or burial (especially in drier soils).

General sequence of external decomposition
• Discolouration of lower abdominal wall, starting in right iliac fossa.
• Distension of abdomen by gas (spread of bowel organisms).
• Discolouration of dependent areas (generalised spread of bacteria to moistest tissues).
• Face and neck turn red and swell.
• “Marbling” branching pattern on skin due to bacterial colonisation of vessels and staining of vessel walls by haemolysis—occurring at ± 1 week of corpse in ambient temperature of 18–20°C.
• Skin blistering and slippage.
• Gross distension of the abdomen, face (protrusion of tongue and eyes) and scrotum.
• Bloody fluid leaks from orifices (2–3 weeks).
• Skin discolouration deepens to dark green or black.
• Maggot infestation with increased tissue destruction.
• Skin slippage from fingers and toes (hinders identification).

Internal decomposition
Proceeds more slowly, and differs by organ:
• Intestine, adrenals and pancreas autolyse within hours.
• Brain liquefies within a month (meningeal haemorrhage/haematoma usually persist).
• Body fat liquefies to yellow fluid filling body cavities.
• Softer tissues and viscera disintegrate over several months.
• Uterus, heart and prostate persist for the longest.
• Skeletalisation with tendons—12–18 months in temperate climate.
• “Bare-bone” skeletalisation—3 years in temperate climate.

pu·tre·fac·tion

(pyū'trĕ-fak'shŭn)
Decomposition or rotting, the breakdown of organic matter, usually by bacterial action, resulting in the formation of other substances of less complex constitution with the evolution of ammonia or its derivatives and hydrogen sulfide; characterized usually by the presence of toxic or malodorous products.
Synonym(s): decay (2) , decomposition.
[L. putre-facio, pp. -factus, to make rotten]

decomposition

Separation into chemical constituents or simpler compounds often as a result of bacterial enzymatic action.

decomposition

  1. the break-up of a chemical substance into two or more simpler substances.
  2. the breakdown of organic material by microorganisms.
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