Talk:Chemical process of decomposition

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Biology  
WikiProject icon Chemical process of decomposition is part of the WikiProject Biology, an effort to build a comprehensive and detailed guide to biology on Wikipedia.
Leave messages on the WikiProject talk page.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.

Very nice![edit]

I like how you've organized the page, it is easy for readers to follow and understand. The breadth of knowledge is also very good, and I like how you've shown the chemical structures of the compounds as well as provided links to additional information if readers are interested in going more in depth. Overall, very nice job!

You commented on abiotic factors that often influence degradation which was awesome. This however piqued a thought of how biotic factors will alter these decomposition factors. For example you said that after death there is a mixture of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. I am wondering if that mixture percentage will change depending on weight and diet. To illustrate my point a person who consumes a high fat diet versus a vegan diet. How will this alter the lipid degradation rate and the ratio of saturated to unsaturated fatty acids?

The correlated thought process I have is how the degradation of keratin will be affected by diet and possibly by location (someone from South America versus someone from India, vegetarian versus high protein diet).

Other than these questions that were sparked with reading I felt that the layout and flow of information was simplistic enough to follow for the most casual of wiki readers. It was not overwhelming with scientific facts and information that it would bore a reader. (talk) 19:28, 29 November 2010 (UTC)Kevin S.

Thank you for the compliments on my page. As for your question regarding the effect of diet on the ratio of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, the answer is yes- it does have an effect. Several studies have been conducted on pigs, in which groups of pigs were fed different diets, from which samples of tissue were removed and analyzed for fatty acid content[1], [2]. The study conducted by Bryhni, Kjos, Ofstad, and Hunt (2002), found that pigs fed diets high in polyunsaturated fatty acids contained higher levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids in their backfat [2]. Similarly, studies conducted on humans have found that lacto-ovo vegetarians consumed relatively higher percentages of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids than the other dietary groups in the study[3]. This dietary trend was well correlated with their respective percentages of polyunsaturated fatty acids in adipose tissue [3]. The authors therefore determined that there was indeed a correlation between the fatty acid composition in individuals' diets and that of their subcutaneous fat storesCite error: The <ref> tag has too many names (see the help page).

. It is also believed that approximately 25 percent of the variance of fatty acids within adipose tissue between individuals is accounted for by the differences in dietary fats consumed[3]. JenCom (talk) 15:08, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Similar to the correlation between dietary intake of fatty acids and their distribution in adipose tissue, our protein diets will also influence the protein content of our hair, skin, and nails (which all contain keratin)[4]. A study conducted by Petzke, Boeing, and Meges (2005), found that they were able to distinguish lacto-ovo vegetarians from vegans, which were both distinct from omnivores, using hair samples. As for the differential degradation of keratin as a result of the different protein content, I cannot conclude whether it would be affected, since I am not aware of any studies that have looked into this topic. JenCom (talk) 15:30, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

I wonder if the conversion of fatty acids to salts of fatty acids would affect detection ability? The page is well laid out and follows a logical flow. Very easy to understand. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:43, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Fatty acids can be detected in a variety of ways. They can be detected using infrared spectroscopy, which does not require much to be done to the fatty acid samples in order to detect them. Infrared spectroscopy can easily detect both fatty acids and their salts, based on the nature of the bonds within their structures. Infrared spectroscopy is only qualitative, and so in order to determine the amounts and types of fatty acids present, gas chromatography can be used. Gas chromatography, however, requires that the fatty acid samples be derivatized (altered), in order to be able to detect them on the instrument. As a result, the salts of fatty acids will be transformed, leaving just the fatty acids to be detected and not their salts. JenCom (talk) 15:40, 30 November 2010 (UTC)


  1. ^ Villegas, F.J., Hedrick, H.B., Veum, T.L., McFate, K.L., Bailey, M.E. (1973). "Effect of diet and breed on fatty acid composition of porcine adipose tisue". Journal of Animal Science. 36: 663–668. 
  2. ^ a b Bryhni, E.A., Kjos, N.P., Ofstad, R., Hunt, M. (2002). "Polyunsaturated fat and fish oil in diets for growing-finishing pigs: effects on fatty acid composition and meat, fat, and sausage quality". Meat Science. 62: 1–8. doi:10.1016 Check |doi= value (help). 
  3. ^ a b c Plakke, T., Berkel J., Beynen, A.C., Hermus R.J.J., Katan, M.B. (1983). "Relationship between the fatty acid composition of the diet and that of the subcutaneous adipose tissue in individual human subjects". Human nutrition: Applied Nutrition. 37A: 365–372. PMID 6668222. 
  4. ^ Petzke, K.J., Boeing, H., Meges, C.C. (2005). "Choice of dietary protein of vegetarians and omnivores is reflected in their hair protein 12C and 15N abundance". Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry. 19: 1392–1400. doi:10.1002 Check |doi= value (help). 

"composition of the human body" text is poorly cited, the associated image does not properly note primary sources, and the real primary source can not be verified[edit]

This article contains an image that shows the composition of the human body.

(1) The image itself should cite the work from which its numerical data was taken. It says "own work" when clearly only the making of the pie chart was "own work" whereas the data was taken from a paper. That is at least sloppy and at worst plagiarism.

(2) In the main text, there is a citation to "The human body is composed of approximately: 64% water, 20% protein, 10% fat, 1% carbohydrate, 5% minerals [3]" = Janaway R.C., Percival S.L., Wilson A.S. (2009). "Decomposition of Human Remains". In Percival, S.L. Microbiology and Aging. Springer Science + Business. pp. 13–334. ISBN 1-58829-640-7.

However, this Janaway article is not the primary source for that information. Reading the Janaway article, they quote this information as coming from "van Haaren FWJ. Churchyards as sources for water pollution. Moorman's Periodieke Pers 1951;35:167–172."

This article, from Moorman's Periodieke Pers. 35(16):167–172 is something that I can not access online and somebody should verify this information if they have library access to this article and the ability to read Dutch. Failing that, it should be removed as unverifiable since the current source is not a primary source. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Therealchrisneale (talkcontribs) 04:58, 22 May 2016 (UTC)