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Rhys Cordelle
10-25-2009, 01:23 AM
Strange question... if all the water was instantly removed from a human body, what would remain? Dust and bone?

wittyusernamehere
10-25-2009, 01:38 AM
Using only layman's knowledge, I might suspect something mummy-like.

Although for some weird reason, when I read your question I mostly remembered that I once had 'astronaut ice cream' at Smithsonian, which was water-free, and that pretty much had the consistency of chalk.

Lhun
10-25-2009, 03:49 PM
Depends a lot on what you mean by sucked dry and how it's supposed to happen.

Nivarion
10-27-2009, 02:24 AM
It would depend on the manner in which it was done. If they were sort of cooked, you would have a different result than if they were put to the triple point.

And both of those would have a different effect than a microwave ray that just evaporates them. Which would have a different effect than being dropped in a vat of silica powder.

How do you mean, sucked dry?

Shadow_Ferret
10-27-2009, 02:31 AM
Dust. Like that Batman movie with Adam West where all the liquid was removed from the UN council and all that was left was different colored dust in test tubes. :D

FOTSGreg
10-27-2009, 02:36 AM
Okay, I'll bite...

1) Explosive decompression, exposed to the vacuum of space and left to float there without a spacesuit for a year or a thousand years (let's not go into micrometeorite or radiation-induced decomposition of the carcass).

2) Bitten by a vampire and having the blood literally drained from the body as completely as a superhuman undead thing could manage.

3) Hooked up to a machine that literally pumps all the fluid from your body completely as modern vacuum pump technology would allow.

4) Bitten and then preyed upon by a giant spider that continuously injects cytotoxic venom into the wound and drains the dissolved tissues.

5) Infected by an organism or nanomachine that completely dehydrates the body at the molecular level (ala a Star Trek episode).

There ya' go, guys...

:)

BigWords
10-27-2009, 06:41 AM
I saw the title of the thread 'Sucked Dry' and... Lets just say I'm a little dissapointed that the question isn't the one I came here to read. :D

Lhun
10-27-2009, 10:40 AM
1) Explosive decompression, exposed to the vacuum of space and left to float there without a spacesuit for a year or a thousand years (let's not go into micrometeorite or radiation-induced decomposition of the carcass).Does not really happen except in space movies. Floating in space, you'd just very slowly freeze, and surface water boils off. But you'll end up as a big chunk of ice that's still mostly water.

2) Bitten by a vampire and having the blood literally drained from the body as completely as a superhuman undead thing could manage.Well, were again in the how does that happen territory. If he's just suckling at the neck, that's the same as all blood being drained. That'd be something like 10% of the water content of the human body, maybe.

3) Hooked up to a machine that literally pumps all the fluid from your body completely as modern vacuum pump technology would allow.Same as the vampire, or space. The problem is that it's not possible to create an arbitrarily high negative pressure. The normal air pressure is about 1 bar, and a perfect vacuum has one bar less, being at absolute zero. You can't go lower than that obviously. And the human body is perfectly capable of holding together at a pressure differential of only one bar.

4) Bitten and then preyed upon by a giant spider that continuously injects cytotoxic venom into the wound and drains the dissolved tissues.Well, since the spider actually dissolves the prey, eventually there'll be nothing left.

5) Infected by an organism or nanomachine that completely dehydrates the body at the molecular level (ala a Star Trek episode).The big question is what is meant by "at the molecular level". For example would crystal water count? It's not really part of the molecule of a salt crystal structure, but it is integrated, so the crystal isn't wet or dissolved.
Removing all free water would result in something like a mummy, depending a bit on how violently it's done, completely stripping all available HO molecules, as what would happen if immersed in something intensely hygroscopic like pure sulphuric acid, will result in a very hot mummy. A burning mummy if there's oxygen available, the process is usually very exothermic.

FOTSGreg
10-28-2009, 08:29 AM
Lhun, As always, thank you very much for the extra tidbits of information even your questions point out.

I didn't know that about hygroscopic substances - very exothermic, eh? Hmmmm...

How are you with "kitchen chemistry"?

:)

BigWords
10-28-2009, 09:53 PM
Are ALL liquids being counted? Spinal fluid, spittle, urine, etc. along with the sac around the brain and blood? I don't think that a simple answer would fulfill the criteria of removing all water from the body. A number of techniques used in unison would be needed to get out some of the trickier to reach liquid sources.

defcon6000
10-29-2009, 07:47 AM
Oil! We're made up of fats and oils too! So we wouldn't be all dust n' bones; more like a grease stain. ;)

Lhun
10-29-2009, 07:21 PM
Oil! We're made up of fats and oils too! So we wouldn't be all dust n' bones; more like a grease stain. ;)There's not that much fat in a normal human body. And most of fat tissue is still water, as is pretty much all of any other liquid. Heck, blood is pure water, except for a small statistical error margin.

efkelley
10-30-2009, 07:44 AM
Heck, blood is pure water, except for a small statistical error margin.

Well, 8% is a bit more than a statistical error margin, but I see what you're saying. :)

Cyia
10-30-2009, 07:55 AM
What's that weird "fact" from high school chemistry about the human body being nothing but water and $26 worth of chemical compounds?

defcon6000
10-30-2009, 10:36 AM
There's not that much fat in a normal human body. And most of fat tissue is still water, as is pretty much all of any other liquid. Heck, blood is pure water, except for a small statistical error margin.
Oil/fat and water aren't the same thing. Oil has the opposite polarity to water which makes it insoluble against water; it's what prevents you from disintegrating each and every time you take a shower or go swimming.

amlptj
10-30-2009, 10:59 AM
from what i know yes... You should watch Eureka the show on sifi. One of there recent eposoides was about that and they are usually very sicentifically right about stuff of the show. In that even the bones turned to dust.

Lhun
10-30-2009, 06:53 PM
Oil/fat and water aren't the same thing. Oil has the opposite polarity to water which makes it insoluble against water; it's what prevents you from disintegrating each and every time you take a shower or go swimming.Eh, not quite. There is no such thing as "opposite polarity", and the human body contains pretty much only fat, not oil, which is a completely different group of chemicals. Nonetheless, your fat storing tissue is still mostly water, not mostly fat.
What keeps you from dissolving is not fat either, but your cell membranes, which mostly consist of various proteins,

defcon6000
10-31-2009, 12:53 AM
Eh, not quite. There is no such thing as "opposite polarity", and the human body contains pretty much only fat, not oil, which is a completely different group of chemicals. Nonetheless, your fat storing tissue is still mostly water, not mostly fat.
What keeps you from dissolving is not fat either, but your cell membranes, which mostly consist of various proteins,
That's incorrect. ;)

Due to the water molecules having an negatively charged oxygen atom attached to two positively charged hydrogen atoms in the shape of Micky Mouse ears causes it to be a polar molecule. Oil or fat (oil is just a general term, but it does pertain to fats) and it's a non-polar molecule (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_polarity) (i.e. opposite to water). This is why oil and water never mix!!
And what do you think your cell membranes are made up of? Amino acids and lipids (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cell_membrane) (once again fats).

Lhun
11-01-2009, 05:46 PM
That's incorrect. ;)No it's not. :p

Due to the water molecules having an negatively charged oxygen atom attached to two positively charged hydrogen atoms in the shape of Micky Mouse ears causes it to be a polar molecule. Oil or fat (oil is just a general term, but it does pertain to fats) and it's a non-polar molecule (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_polarity) (i.e. opposite to water). This is why oil and water never mix!!Yes, that's what you learn in school (i did too) but it's hardly the whole picture. For one, whether a substance is soluble in water is determined by more than just the strong polarity of water. Which BTW is not because of a charge of the atoms in a water molecule, it is neutral like all molecules, but because of the strong electro-negativity of oxygen compared to the weak electro-negativity of hydrogen which result in an imbalance in the distribution of the electron cloud and the triangular structure of the molecule.
Anyway, calling a non-polar molecule having "the opposite polarity" than a polar molecule is commuting violence against the innocent word "opposite".
Oil is a term being used for many liquid fats commonly, but is properly a term for long-chained hydrocarbons. Those have many of the same physical properties of fats, and thus the naming confusion. But it could hardly be expected of bronze age people who first encountered mineral oil and found that it's a flammable, greasy liquid which does not mix with water, to recognize a difference to, say, olive oil. Well, except in taste maybe.

And what do you think your cell membranes are made up of? Amino acids and lipids (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cell_membrane) (once again fats).[/quote]No. Fats are lipids, but lipids are not (all) fats. The lipids contained in cell membranes are glycerides as well, but are not fats since they don't contain fatty acids.

defcon6000
11-02-2009, 02:47 AM
Yes, that's what you learn in school (i did too) but it's hardly the whole picture.
Which is why we use the internet as a tool for accessing the whole picture. ;)


For one, whether a substance is soluble in water is determined by more than just the strong polarity of water. Which BTW is not because of a charge of the atoms in a water molecule, it is neutral like all molecules, but because of the strong electro-negativity of oxygen compared to the weak electro-negativity of hydrogen which result in an imbalance in the distribution of the electron cloud and the triangular structure of the molecule.I never said the water molecule had a charge. I'm aware that an oxygen atom has a negative 2 charge and an hydrogen atom has a positive 1 charge, thus canceling out the charge in a water molecule with its 1 oxygen and 2 hydrogen.


Anyway, calling a non-polar molecule having "the opposite polarity" than a polar molecule is commuting violence against the innocent word "opposite".I don't see it, but whatever.



No. Fats are lipids, but lipids are not (all) fats. The lipids contained in cell membranes are glycerides as well, but are not fats since they don't contain fatty acids.Glyceride doesn't have any fatty acids, huh?

Glycerides, more correctly known as acylglycerols, are esters formed from glycerol and fatty acids.Link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glyceride)

Well I learned a lot here in this thread. :D

Lhun
11-02-2009, 03:11 PM
Which is why we use the internet as a tool for accessing the whole picture. ;)I suggest asking a chemist from your local university instead. The internet is a great information resource, but relies completely on your ability to judge the accuracy of any given piece of information.

I never said the water molecule had a charge. I'm aware that an oxygen atom has a negative 2 charge and an hydrogen atom has a positive 1 charge, thus canceling out the charge in a water molecule with its 1 oxygen and 2 hydrogen.No, the component atoms of a water molecule do not have charges either. The bonds in a water molecule are polar bonds, not ionic bonds. There is only a kind of pseudo charge because of the uneven distribution of the electron cloud.

I don't see it, but whatever."Opposite" is usually not synonymous with "not".

Glyceride doesn't have any fatty acids, huh?
Link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glyceride)Actually, a glyceride would be any molecule containing glycerol, so that wiki page is in error, but that doesn't matter for the point at hand.
The lipids contained in cell membranes are formed from glycerol and phosphates. Possibly various acids as well. However a fat is only a lipid consisting of glycerol and three (saturated or unsaturated) fatty acids, while cell membranes contain phospholipids, not fats.
I guess i phrased that carelessly "don't contain only (which means three) fatty acids" would have been more precise.

Well I learned a lot here in this thread. :DI hope so.

GeorgeK
11-24-2009, 08:38 AM
Oil or fat (oil is just a general term, but it does pertain to fats) ..

Oil and Fat have differing definitions depending upon whether you are talking to a Biologist, a Chemist, a Chef, etc. They are far from universal terms.

lpetrich
01-28-2010, 08:39 AM
A quickly-dried-up human corpse would become a mummy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mummy). An unwrapped one, of course.

kathrynroberts
02-17-2010, 05:31 AM
Someone once told me that if you took all the water out of your body you WOULD just be left with dust and that person seemed to have a lot of scientific knowledge. Don't bones have some liquid in them? I don't think they would stay intact, but that is just my laymen mind speaking.

Pthom
02-17-2010, 05:36 AM
The problem is what we mean by "all" :D

Even kiln dried wood, an organic material which lasts for centuries with little appreciable dedgedation, has moisture in it. Some of that moisture is water, some is other liquids, like oils.

You can remove enough water from an organism so that it no longer supports life of any kind (ie: bacteria, etc) but leave enough in so that there is some structural integrity. Like a mummy.

But you are correct in that if you remove every molecule of water from a human being, the substance that remains is extremely fragile and would, I believe, turn into dust with very little encouragement.

Lhun
02-17-2010, 11:09 AM
But you are correct in that if you remove every molecule of water from a human being, the substance that remains is extremely fragile and would, I believe, turn into dust with very little encouragement.Well, i think even here it's quite hard to specify "all water". How about water that is bound into a complex? It's still water, but it's not exactly a liquid anymore. Or water in the crystal structure of a salt?
This (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d8/Copper_sulfate.jpg) contains water. If you heat it up, the water will evaporate and you get white powder. But both are copper sulfate.
And when we go even farther, extremely hygroscopic materials (such as H2SO4) can rip water molecules right out of larger molecular structures.

PeterL
02-18-2010, 12:13 AM
What's that weird "fact" from high school chemistry about the human body being nothing but water and $26 worth of chemical compounds?

It's some amount like that for te elements, but the compounds are worth much more. There are some compounds that are worth hundreds of dollars for a gram.

Pthom
02-18-2010, 12:26 AM
Lhun, you explained it so much better than did I. Thanks.

In the case of the copper sulfate, heating removes molecules of H2O. A great way of removing all the water molecules from an animal is to heat it up. Cremation is a great example. But I imagine even the resulting ash (dust) that's left contains water in some form.