FAQ - rigor mortis
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Rigor Mortis?

In the process of rigor mortis for a skinny girl in cold water, can the rigor mortis effect reduce swelling or increase it?

Rigor mortis comes from lack of calcium binding in the muscle. It would not increase swelling, but the body being in the water would.

During muscle contraction, ATP expenditure is required to release the myosin head of a thick filament from its binding site on the thin filament. Since all metabolic processes have come to a halt in a dead body, no ATP is being produced. Therefore, because of a lack of ATP, the myosin head cannot be released from the actin filament, and the sarcomere cannot relax. Because this happens in muscles all over the body, they become "stiff" and "locked" into place.

ATP is required to reuptake calcium into the sarcomere's sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). Additionally, when a muscle is relaxed, the myosin heads are returned to their "high energy" position, ready and waiting for a binding site on the actin filament to become available. Because there is no ATP available, previously released calcium ions cannot return to the SR. These leftover calcium ions move around inside the sarcomere and may eventually find their way to a binding site on the thin filament's regulatory protein. Since the myosin head is already ready to bind, no additional ATP expenditure is required and the sarcomere contracts. When this process occurs on a larger scale, the disturbing twitches and gruesome postures associated with rigor mortis can occur.

Rigor mortis begins to manifest after about 3 hours after death, and lasts about 72 hours. It then disappears as proteolytic enzymes from lysosomes break down the crossbridges; that is the myosin heads detach from the actin filaments.  (+ info)

rigor mortis?

what is it??!!!

the stiffening of the body after death. hence the term a "stiff" for a dead body. "Rigor mortis is a recognizable sign of death (Latin "mortis") that is caused by a chemical change in the muscles, causing the limbs of the corpse to become stiff (Latin "rigor") and difficult to move or manipulate. Assuming mild temperatures, rigor usually sets in about 3-4 hours after clinical death, with full rigor being in effect at about 12 hours, and eventually subsiding to relaxation at about 36 hours. Times for the onset of rigor mortis can vary from a few minutes to several hours depending on the temperature of the environment in which the body is found"  (+ info)

What could be the reason for rigor mortis to become faster?

My class is going to do a play about detective this year. And there'll be murders with investigations. I've read some articles about rigor mortis. And i would like to know can rigor mortis come faster than usual in a human body? If so, what could be the reason for that. I'm looking forward for the answer to be the murderer's action in changing the death time of the corpse. THanks in advance guys. If you know anything about the answer please respond.

Here is a link to several reasons why rigor can progress more quickly than normal. Have fun with your play!

http://health.howstuffworks.com/rigor-mortis-cause2.htm  (+ info)

Can you help me figure out this rigor mortis question?

7.You are a forensic pathologist called to a crime scene in an abandoned apartment building to determine time and cause of death. The first thing you notice is that the body is in rigor mortis. The suspect in custody has a train ticket proving that he arrived in town only 10 hours earlier. Hence he claims that since the body is already “stiff as a board,” there is no way he could have been the murderer. Can you prove that he could be the murderer and how? Please summarize to him the phenomenon of rigor mortis in your explanation.

to understand the pathology of rigor mortis you must understand the functional unot of muscle contraction: the sarcomere. basically theres these two threads parallel to each other but a little offset like
1. ------------------------ --------------------
2. -----------------------Y---- ---------------------
that Y is troponin and the lines are actin and myosin filaments.
to initiate contraction calcium ion attaches troponin and it jumps forward (to the right) and attaches to line 1, causing the lines to be pulled together horizontally. then ATP comes in and attaches the sarcomere. this causes troponin to release trom the line 1 and causes relaxation.
so you see ATP is necessary for release and relaxation of muscle.
after death the mitochondria are no longer supplied with glucose and so cannot produce the ATP necessary for muscle release. the calcium will stay attached to the troponin and the muscle will remain contracted.
Rigor mortis can come on within a couple of minutes because of Acetylcholine release at the neuromuscular junction. Acetylcholine is the neurrotransmitter that signals the muscle to contract from the outside nerve.
so rigor mortis is the a result of acetylcholine release causing initiation of contraction and depletion of ATP causing contraction to be sustained.  (+ info)

How long for rigor mortis in a 8 lb dog that drowned in cold water?

Trying to determine timeline of accident that took our min pin. Found in pond at 8:40 pm already stiffened up - water was quite cold. Trying to determine approximately when he fell in. Please help me get some peace around this.

To me, it sounds more like the freezing water froze the body. I've never heard of rigor mortise in animals.

We lost a bunny last month in the first freeze. Got out there and the guy was freezing cold rock solid. Like a furry statue. It was so disgusting.  (+ info)

Imagine coming back to life after rigor mortis has already set in?

Apparently on Yahoo! News, this woman had 3 heart attacks and was brain dead and without oxygen for 17 1/2 hours. Her fingers and toes were hard, and toes were pulled back.

And then she woke up.

So do the fingers/toes/limbs become soft again now that the heart is pumping?

She looked like she was holding something in her hand(a cell phone, glass, cup), don't recall what it was, in the TV clip I saw.

And she was sitting up, speaking in a rational manner, easily understandable. So, I guess, the answer to your question would be yes.

One can only presume that those in attendance mis-interpreted the medical date, or some of the medical apparatus mal-functioned; or it's just an inexplicable miracle.

Alberich  (+ info)

how long does rigor mortis last in hampsters?

my syrian hampster has not been moving, at first i thought he was hibernating because i could see him breathing but now i cannot.
it has been at least a day and still rigor mortis has not set in, i am wondering if it has already passed because i dont want to bury my hampster alive.

  (+ info)

How long does it take for a body to go into rigor mortis?

I have to know. like now.

2-6 hours after death. and you can dissolve flesh quickly with clr. bodies build up a lot of posthumous gases, so rivers are bad. swamps have plenty of decomposing organisms and are rarely traveled. fresh blood stains can be removed with hydrogen peroxide. dry or drying blood stains can be removed with meat tenderizer and cold water.  (+ info)

How long does it take Rigor Mortis to set in..?

In around 21 degrees celcius temperature and not buried?

6-12 hrs!  (+ info)

Can someone tell me about Rigor Mortis?

what is Rigor Mortis and how/why does it happen?

A few hours after a person or animal dies, the joints of the body stiffen and become locked in place. This stiffening is called rigor mortis. Depending on temperature and other conditions, rigor mortis lasts approximately 72 hours. The phenomenon is caused by the skeletal muscles partially contracting. The muscles are unable to relax, so the joints become fixed in place.

There is a lot more on this website but I didn't want to take up a lot of room.  (+ info)

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