Is there any where to predict it without thawing? In terms of measuring it. What if the body was immersed in sugar prior to freezing?


closed as too broad by kmm, David, AliceD Sep 26 '18 at 19:08

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    $\begingroup$ What do you mean by decomposition rate, if you mean rot then the answer is none, if you are talking about other effects that would fall under taphonomy and it will be extremely slow. $\endgroup$ – John Sep 23 '18 at 2:38
  • $\begingroup$ Cell apoptosis. $\endgroup$ – A S Sep 23 '18 at 3:31
  • $\begingroup$ Zero, apoptosis is programmed cell death, it does not occur in frozen tissue, do you necrosis? $\endgroup$ – John Sep 23 '18 at 5:26
  • $\begingroup$ Does necrosis happen then? $\endgroup$ – A S Sep 23 '18 at 16:08
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    $\begingroup$ At -20,chemical reactions and biological activity of microbes is nearly static. The mammal can get dehydrated if the ambient humidity is low, they freeze dry animals in cold temperature, If the animal is protected from humidity fluctuations, the DNA can last 100,000 years. They just revived nematodes found frozen in ice for 40,000 years, they are multicellular. $\endgroup$ – com.prehensible Sep 23 '18 at 18:01

Take a look at the frozen carcasses of mammoths and dire wolves found in the permafrost regions of Siberia... Freezer burn happens quite frequently... the outer layers of soft tissue will start drying out.

Some even say that mammoth meat was eaten at a conference in 1951

If this is true or not... A mammal carcass preserved at -20 degrees can last long... very long.

I recently thawed a crocodile, which was frozen at -20 degrees since 1986... Except some freezer burn and shrinkage of the meat within the hard and partly ossified skin, you wouldn't even think that it was frozen for such a long time.

Adding sugar decreases the freezing temperature of water and the freezing process will take longer. Given the fact, that you have -20 degrees during this step, too - nothing will happen with the carcass.

So: no rotting, no necrosis, but: long time freezer burn

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the answer but this should not be right, i ve spoken with a specialist and was told that cell still undergo apoptosis because they are starved to death. The cells that survived being frozen. $\endgroup$ – A S Sep 23 '18 at 22:28
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    $\begingroup$ Apoptosis is not decomposition. you said Decomposition rate. the answer is - virtually no decomposition. If you want to ask about apoptosis of the cells at -20, write a new question. The cells wouldn't undergo apoptosis because they starve. they don't consume any energy at -20 so they don't respire and starve. if they cells survive they don't decompose. $\endgroup$ – com.prehensible Sep 24 '18 at 2:37
  • $\begingroup$ com.prehensible is absolutely right. Apoptosis is not decomposition. You asked about decomposition - I answered the question about decomposition. Please tell me where my answer is incorrect regarding your question about decomposition of a body at - 20 degrees $\endgroup$ – JulPal Sep 24 '18 at 6:20
  • $\begingroup$ @JulPal For some reason I don't get notified when I get a reply. I thought that decomposition includes apoptosis. $\endgroup$ – A S Sep 28 '18 at 1:37

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