An ‘Alternative’ to Burials? Bodies Are Being ‘Chemically Disposed’

*Oh boy. Generally, all of this scientific looking stuff intimidates me. And the article I got this info from is in that category. But the gist of it is that a new way of disposing of dead bodies has been discovered, and they say its “cleaner.”

We already know about the traditional route. Place the body in the casket and lower it into the ground. Then there is cremation, must I? Thank you. Now there is…well, I don’t exactly know what they’re calling it so let’s explore, shall we?

You remember the old TV show the Twilight Zone? Well, let’s go there for a moment.

Apparently, there is something rather experimental going on at UCLA. The Donated Body Program, under the direction of Dean Fisher at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, disposes of dead bodies that are first dissected, then wheeled into an alkaline hydrolysis machine that turns them into liquid and pure white bone.

I know. I know. But there’s more…

Their air-dried bones are then pulverized and scattered off the coast by nearby Camp Pendleton, the Marine Corps base, where they will float and then disperse, because pure calcium phosphate dissolves very slowly.

I don’t know about you, but this can’t be something someone would have done to their loved one.

According to Wired.com Fisher explains what?s happening inside the high-pressure chamber: Potassium hydroxide is being mixed with water heated to 302 degrees Fahrenheit. A biochemical reaction is taking place, and the flesh is dissolving off the bones. In the course of about four hours, the strong alkaline base breaks down everything but the skeleton into the original components that built it: sugar, salts, peptides, and amino acids. DNA unzips into its nucleobases?cytosine, guanine, adenine, thymine. The body becomes a sterile watery liquid that looks like weak tea. The liquid shoots through a pipe into a holding tank in the opposite corner of the room, where it will cool, reach an acceptable pH, and be released down the drain.

Damn. 

The human body, liquefied, smells like steamed clams, says the witness to this whole thing.

How’s that coupled with your morning coffee?

Sorry.

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