Feeds

What makes a wound stop bleeding?

Comprehending coagulation

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Also in this week's column:

What makes a wound stop bleeding?

Asked by Alicia Rauzok of Greensboro, North Carolina

A wound stops bleeding due to the process of clot formation called coagulation. Coagulation is from the Latin coagulatus meaning "to cause to curdle".

Blood contains an enzyme called Protease 34 kD or thrombin for short. Thrombin is made in the liver. The only time thrombin seems to become active in the body is when there is an open wound.

Blood is circulating tissue composed of a fluid portion (plasma) with suspended formed elements (platelets, red blood cells, and white blood cells). Arterial blood is the means by which oxygen and nutrients are transported to body tissues. Venus blood is the means by which carbon dioxide and metabolic by-products are transported from body tissues to exit the body.

In blood plasma there is a specific protein called fibrinogen. In an open wound the enzyme thrombin unites with the fibrinogen to form needlelike crystals called fibrin. This union forms a biochemical alliance that catches blood cells called corpuscles as they try to flood out of the body through the wound. Corpuscle is from the Latin "corpusculum" meaning "any small particle or body".

All this chemical action creates a plug called a blood clot. After a time, moisture is squeezed out of the clot and it contracts. This process is called syneresis. It's not widely known but the same chemical process of syneresis also happens in the formation of jams and jellies.

Stephen Juan, Ph.D. is an anthropologist at the University of Sydney. Email your Odd Body questions to s.juan@edfac.usyd.edu.au

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study
Fat guy? Drink or smoke? You're worse than a TERRORIST
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rocking boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball
That's it for God, then – if Comet 67P has got complex molecules
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.