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Blood Question: Where’s the Salt?

May 1, 2012

imageColin Berry asks:

All of a sudden, the penny dropped. Never mind the potassium for now. WHAT ABOUT THE SODIUM?  Blood is salty. It’s loaded with sodium chloride, NaCl, or Na+Cl-. Why have I never seen mentions of sodium in connection with the Shroud and those “blood stains”? Now here’s something curious. Enter…  shroud turin blood sodium… into your favourite search engine, and look at the returns. You will find at best a few passing mentions of sodium, but nothing to suggest that it has been systematically investigated as a stable marker for old blood or serum stains. How weird is that?

[ . . . ]

Legitimate question? Okay! Needs to be answered. But then, this. Is he thinking conspiracy theory?

So what’s going on here, or rather NOT been going on? Why has the absence  – or at any rate near-absence of sodium – not been reported and commented upon by that group presently assembled in Valencia as we speak, the ones  who were given privileged access to the Shroud for a week in 1978, the ones who effectively now operate as an old boy network?

Source: What about sodium as Na+, that seemingly forgotten marker for blood

  1. Kelly Kearse
    May 1, 2012 at 6:40 am | #1

    Is the presence of sodium chloride is a forensic test typically used in the characterization of dried bloodstains? Tests for the presence of specific blood components, such as hemoglobin, immunoglobulin, serum albumin, & ABO molecules are routine as they are more informative and definitive.

    Irrespective of the Shroud, type salt and bloodstains into your favorite search engine and you’ll get some hints on spot removal or descriptions of buffers used in solubilization, but come up pretty short on diagnostics.

    Pass the salt, please, appears to be a straw man

  2. daveb of wellington nz
    May 1, 2012 at 7:00 am | #2

    Colin would know better than any of us that NaCl is highly soluble in water, along with its ions. Surely only one dowsing would be enough to wash it all away. Or am I missing something here? Refer “The Shroud” Wison, 2010, Fig 1a & Fig 12 show two separate incidents of water damage, the first probably from some unknown storage condensation in an earthenware jar, the second from dowsing to extinguish the 1532 fire.

    Absence of NaCl may therefore be no kind of indicative argument; On the other hand any presence of NaCl could hardly be taken as corroborative of anything, I should think.

    Is there any way that NaCl could be retained on the cloth, particularly the blood stains, if it was dowsed? Only if that’s possible can Colin’s query then have significance!

  3. Jos Verhulst
    May 1, 2012 at 8:13 am | #3

    Reminds me of a curious detail that I recently noted in Giulio Fanti’s “La Sindone. Una sfida alla scienza moderna” (2009, p.175): “Recentemente, l’autore è stato informato che una crosticina di sangue, prelevata dalle polveri aspirate da G.Riggi di Numana, risulta mescolata al sudore, in quanto è ricca di cloruro di sodio” (‘recently, the author has been informed that a blood crust, found in the powder collected through aspiration by G.Riggi di Numana, turned out to be apparently mixed up with sweat, that contains very much NaCl’). So, apparently salt has been recorded, but there was too much salt for the sample being pure blood, with the most natural explanation being that the blood was mixed up with sweat. Of course, this observation illustrates an important point: NaCl is a very common mineral, that can result from many sources. Besides, it is also very soluble.

  4. Yannick Clément
    May 1, 2012 at 4:40 pm | #4

    Can you please read this very good paper from the frenchman Thibault Heimburger : http://shroud.com/pdfs/thibault%20final%2001.pdf

    He analysed both McCrone and Heller-Adler’s papers and findings and show how McCrone conclusion were off-track mainly because of a bad methodology and how much Heller and Adler did their analysis with great care. Never forget that both were expert in the field of blood analysis, on the contrary to McCrone who was not.

    If you read this summary paper about the blood analysis from the Shroud, you’ll easily see that Heller and Alder did found Na and Cl as chemical element present in the blood samples. I think M. Berry should read again (or read for the first time) the papers published by Heller and Adler. There’s no question about the FACT that the blood on the Shroud is blood.

    And because it is a FACT, I truly recommand you to read again the recent open-letter that was posted here by Dan : http://shroudofturin.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/please-dont-forget-the-evidence-of-the-bloodstains/

    While reading it, I hope you’ll understand that the fact that blood on the Shroud is real blood don’t leave too much space for a forgery hypothesis and surely not for any kind of forgery hypothesis involving any kind of artistic technique…

    • Ron
      May 2, 2012 at 1:41 am | #5

      I must say, I am 100% in agreement with something Yannick has said.

      McCrone’s analysis of the blood was simply mediocre in comparison to the multiple tests done by Heller and Adler…This is a fact usually and most deceitfully left out by Shroud opponents.


      • Yannick Clément
        May 2, 2012 at 8:26 am | #6

        For once Ron ! He he ! And what people has to remember also is one important fact that was confirmed by Adler’s spectroscopic analysis that he did in the later 90s : The blood on the shroud is not complete blood but exudates from traumatic blood clots !!! That can explain the absence of potassium in the analysis. It’s not me who said that, it’s Adler.

  5. Jos Verhulst
    May 2, 2012 at 1:12 am | #7

    If I remember well (I did not look it up), in Adler’s “Orphaned Manuscript” there is a reference to McCrone, who found both Na and Cl, among many other elements. In any case, this salt thing is a non-issue, ordinary salt being such a common substance. Nobody would accept the presence of NaCl as a valid indication for the stains being real blood – and rightly so. One could say almost as well that the researchers had to look for the presence of water in the stains, because blood contains a lot of water.

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