The Shroud Blood Science of Dr. Pierluigi Baima Bollone:
Another look at potassium, among other things
Kelly Kearse and Thibault Heimburger
Although probably best known for his blood typing studies on the Shroud, it is worth noting that Dr. Pierluigi Baima Bollone conducted a series of chemical and immunological studies in the characterization of Shroud bloodstains, similar to those performed by Heller and Adler. [Translated from the book jacket shown above:] “Dr. Pierluigi Baima Bollone, 76, a surgeon, for over 40 years, teacher of Forensic Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine and Law at the University of Turin-and now professor emeritus, continues to contract in his courses. He is the author of a successful Handbook of Forensic Medicine adopted in various Universities, now in its fifth edition, and 161 scientific publications. He has also written 24 books.”
Below, several specifics regarding Baima Bollone’s findings relative to those of Heller and Adler are discussed. Much of the quoted material is taken from his presentation entitled “The Forensic Characteristics of the Blood Marks” from The Turin Shroud-past, present, and future, an International Scientific Symposium held in Turin March 2-5, 2000. Direct quotes from Dr. Baima Bollone are bolded.
The first endeavor to scientifically evaluate the nature of the bloodstains on the Shroud began in 1973 by members of the “commission of experts”, which included G. Frache, E.M. Rizaati, and M. Mari. Their results were negative, although the scientists would conclude that “the negative answer to the investigations conducted does not permit an absolute judgment of the hematic nature of the material under examination.” In a 1981 paper by Baima Bollone, entitled “Indagini Identificative Su Fili Della Sindone”, he describes his own initial studies testing for the presence of hemochromagen, which were also negative, corresponding to the work of Frache, et al. In subsequent studies he would use different methods; discussing this at the 2000 conference, he states, “The initiative to conduct new tests developed a few years later, during the laboratory examination of threads extracted from the Shroud and adhesive tape samples. Under the fluorescence microscope and using the Dotzauer and Keding method on the same samples I demonstrated the presence of heme/porphyrins. On the same material I obtained Teichmann crystals or hematine chlorohydrate with the usual procedures.” In follow up studies, Baima Bollone would extend his chemical results using a series of immunological experiments, which tested positive for the presence of blood component markers. Immunological studies by Heller and Adler (albumin, immunoglobulin), and Garza-Valdes (hemoglobin, typing) would corroborate Bollone’s findings.
Regarding the methods of sampling used in Shroud blood studies, Baima Bollone would comment in 2000, “I would like to point out immediately that the traces suspected of being “blood” are made up of effective deposits of material. This has meant that it has been possible to remove some of the traces using adhesive tapes or to study them directly on threads where they are deposited.” This is a distinction between the two sets of studies: Heller and Adler primarily evaluated tape-lift samples, whereas Baima Bollone physically removed certain threads using forceps. He would further discuss that, “I have been astonished that in their search for traces of blood on the Shroud the STURP team preferred to use physics investigations, or at most surface sample-taking using adhesive tapes, rather than requesting to takes the traces in their materiality.”
“After preliminary studies on bandages taken from an Egyptian mummy in order to optimize methods, in 1981 I centered research on the threads of the weft and warp taken in correspondence with the C9d area of the reference map (the so-called “belt of blood”), B12c (the sole of the left foot) and…(the sole of the right foot) of the feet of the Shroud. After optical and scanning electron microscope investigations, I managed by means of the energy extinction microspectrometer to ascertain the presence of Mg, Al, Si, S, Cl, K, Ca and Fe.”
Here there appears to be a difference between the findings of Baima Bollone relative to those reported by the STURP scientists. In the article, “The origin and nature of blood on the Turin Shroud”, Adler states that the blood is “very low in potassium”, referencing the x-ray fluorescence studies of Morris and colleagues (“X-ray Fluorescence Investigation of the Shroud of Turin”). These specific tests were done at various places on the Shroud, including bloodstains, to help define if the elemental signature was more like paint or pigment? Or blood? Or other?
In the Morris studies the Shroud was sampled while mounted on a specially constructed frame. Bloodstains on the dorsal-foot and the side wound were analyzed. A spectrum of the side wound is presented in the Morris paper (which is also reproduced in Walter McCrone’s book, together with a standard reference blood spectrum). Morris et al. state that, “Although no potassium was observed in any of the Shroud data, poor signal-to-noise ratios may preclude definite conclusions on this point” (see below).
In contrast to these findings, Baima Bollone and coworkers report in the evaluation of threads taken from the Shroud that the elemental profile, including K (potassium), is similar to that of normal blood. This work is described in the articles “La Dimonstrazione Della Presenza Di Tracce Di Sangue Umano Sulla Sindone” and “Indagini Identificative Su Fili Della Sindone”. The “important blood peaks” labeled in McCrone’s elemental analysis of a real blood profile (S, Cl, K, and Fe) are present in Baima Bollone’s analysis. This is a very important point.
In the studies by Morris et al., X-Ray fluorescence (XRF) was used, while Bollone used Electron Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS). The difference between EDS and XRF is the type of radiation hitting the sample. EDS uses an electron beam and XRF uses an x-ray beam, thus the results cannot be directly compared as such. However, both methods give the elemental composition of a sample and have their own limits, but, in fact, they are complementary.
Morris and coworkers were only allowed to perform their work on the Shroud itself; it is noteworthy that they could obtain valuable results. Among the normal major chemical species found in blood (see below), Aluminum, Silicon, Phosphorus and Sulfur could not be detected because their atomic number is lower or equal to 16. However Chlorine, Potassium, Calcium and Iron should, in theory, have been detected in blood areas. Given the very high amount of calcium thorough the entire Shroud, a small excess of calcium in blood areas could probably not be detected. They found an excess of iron in blood areas, consistent with the amount of iron in blood. There is no mention of Chlorine in Morris’paper.
Morris et al.were unable to detect the characteristic peak of potassium in their spectra of bloodstains. They added: “In these measurements [laboratory experiment with whole blood on a Whatman paper using the same XRF system than in Turin], we also observed potassium in addition to iron. The K [potassium] K alpha peak intensity was typically at least an order of magnitude smaller than the Fe K alpha.”
Given that and the very low signal to noise ratio of the TS spectra, it would be very unwise to conclude (like McCrone): “no potassium, no blood”.
Baima Bollone used EDS on TS blood threads.
As an example, he got the following EDS spectrum:
From Dr Baima Bollone: comparison of EDS spectrum of TS blood (B12 C: sole of the left foot) and EDS spectrum of actual blood. There is a good match between actual whole blood and TS blood and potassium is there (arrows added to the original figure).
Dixon et al. studied the elemental composition of dried blood on cloth (Dixon et al., “A Scanning Electron Microscope Study of Dried Blood, 1976) using SEM-EDX. In this paper the elemental composition (the species and their relative amount) are given.
Mimimum and maximum values of elemental species (in %) in dried blood on cloth. From the SEM-EDX data in Dixon et al.
SEM-EDX gives the relative elemental composition. When one compares these results with those obtained by Baima Bollone, there is a very good match with “actual blood”. This is also true for the TS blood, except for calcium and iron. Bollone’s “TS blood” does contain much more calcium and iron than expected for actual blood. Since SEM-EDX analyses a volume of several micrometers, it is possible that the calcium (and iron) excess found in the “TS blood” spectrum is due to the high amount of calcium and iron bounded to the underlying fibers as shown by Heller and Adler.
In any case (except for calcium), there is no doubt that the EDS spectra of blood material coming from blood areas of the Turin Shroud show the same elemental composition than that of actual blood. Not only are all of the expected elements present, but also their relative amounts are consistent with that of blood. In addition, no peak corresponding to species not pertaining to blood was found (for example Hg peak of cinnabar).
It is also important to note that Heller and Adler studied “globs” (blood aggregates) and fibrils from blood image using an EDS spectrometer (“A Chemical Investigation of the Shroud of Turin”, 1981). They wrote: “The fibrils all show strong Ca and Fe signals. The globs all show Na, Mg, Al, Si, P, S, Cl, K [potassium], Ca and Fe … Similar results were obtained by J. Jackson and W.Ercoline in their SEM studies”. Although no spectrum is shown, it is important to note that all of the elemental species of real blood were also found by Heller and Adler on “globs” (and perhaps red fibrils, although this is unclear), including potassium.
To summarize, the assumption that no potassium has been found in the blood stains is simply false. This assumption was only based on the Morris et al. paper and we have seen the strong limits of their in situ observations. On the other side, Bollone, Heller and Adler using another method found potassium in red material and blood threads. Bollone has provided evidence that the elemental composition of the TS blood effectively compares to that of actual blood.
McCrone thought that the blood was made of a mixture of red/yellow ochre with cinnabar in a collagen medium.
Typical SEM-EDX spectrum of pure yellow ochre (from McCrone particle atlas).
Iron, silicon and aluminum are the major species. Chlorine (a major element of blood) is only found as trace element. Even if one adds vermilion (artificial Hgs) or natural cinnabar (HgS and contaminants like quartz and calcite), it would be extremely surprising that the spectrum of such a mixture could match that of actual blood as does the TS blood spectrum.
Another important issue relates to the reflectance spectra of blood. In “Physics and chemistry of the Shroud of Turin- A Summary of the 1978 Investigation” (Analytica Chimica Acta, 135 (1982) 3-49), Rogers et al. commented that “Heller and Adler have noted that there is no specific spectrum for blood per se: the spectral characteristics depend on the chemical state of the hemoglobin and also on its state of aggregation. They pointed out the strong resemblance of the Gilberts’ “blood” data to those for perturbed acid methemoglobin, which is a chemical state of blood in which the iron in the hemoglobin has been oxidized. Cameron and George have published absorption spectra for acid methemoglobin in the range 480- 640 nm. These data strongly resemble the Gilberts’ curves and even include the small absorption structure at about 630 nm”.
Apparent relative spectral absorbance of the mean of four bloodstained areas on the Shroud (Gilbert and Gilbert)
Here is the spectrum from Cameron et al., cited by Rogers:
Spectrum of human acidic ferrihemoglobin (Cameron et al.)
The claim that “there is no specific spectrum for blood per se” can be seen in the following figure:
In “Spectroscopy of burn wounds” by Afromowitz M.A (Ph D) and Callis J.D (Ph D), University of Washington, 1992.
Among the different spectra of hemoglobin, the spectrum of acid methemoglobin is unique. The spectrum of the bloodstains on the Shroud is consistent with that of acid methemoglobin found in the literature.
Bollone stated in 2000. “The forensic identification of the blood was obtained in 1981 by J.H. Heller and A. Adler. In 1980 they had already ascertained the presence of porphyrin, a pigment that enters among other things in the haemoglobin synthesis, in their samples.” He continues, “The presence of human blood was subsequently confirmed by Canale in 1995 before conducting DNA research on some by threads I gave him, and by Leoncio Garza-Valdes, both on material of asserted but not proved origin from the Shroud, and on fragments of Shroud tapes from 1978 obtained from Adler.”
No singular type of test in the evaluation of bloodstains is above error. Each test can result in a false positive. Each test can result in a false negative. It is the sum of the collective evidence of chemical and immunological data that convinced Dr. Baima Bollone (and Heller and Adler) that the “bloodstains” were composed of real blood. Although modern tests are typically more sensitive than many previous methods, the basic one-two approach for the detection of blood is still in use today: chemical testing for the identification of heme/hemoglobin, followed by immunological testing to identify the species from which the blood originates, and if desirable, the blood group and subgroup. (Reviewed in “Analysis of body fluids for forensic purposes: From laboratory testing to non-destructive rapid confirmatory identification at a crime scene”, by Virkler and Lednev, 2009; and “Review: Biological evidence collection and forensic blood identification”, by Castro et al., 2011).
Baima Bollone contributes a unique perspective in the study of the bloodstains of the Shroud, being trained in forensic science, and having evaluated the cloth at a very close range. He also discusses at some length the separation of cellular and fluid components in bloodstains relative to deposition, time of death, and clotting in his studies. As with all of the above-mentioned results, the interested reader is encouraged to consult the original sources of his articles and books for further information.
Baima Bollone would summarize in 2000 that, “In effect everyday haematological diagnostic investigations have allowed us to ascertain the incontrovertible presence of human blood, with all its characteristics, on the Shroud. All this proves and confirms that on the Shroud there are effectively real and complete bloodstains, conserved in their various components”
Well done, Kelly and Thibault!
At last someone reminded sceptics, that NOT ONLY Heller & Adler examined the alleged bloodstains on the TS.
And what this means? This means that the conclusion that the bloodstains on the Shroud are real bloodstains is the strongest evidence that this cloth is a real burial shroud of a real crucified man that was tortured in the same way as Jesus of the Gospel. The implications that come from the solid conclusion that the bloodstains on the Shroud are real bloodstains are very important regarding the question of whether or not this is Jesus’ authentic burial cloth. Because of this, it is pretty evident to me that it is truly is real burial cloth. My conviction is much more based on the evidence coming from the blood and serum stains than anything that can come from the body image (even though there are a lot of good evidences also in there that point in the same direction).
The ignorance of several anglophones regarding research performed in other countries is tremendous.
One should remind, that although STURP performed fantastic job, it was not only the STURP that performed examination on the Shroud, despite what is often stated.
Actually STURP asked (and was given) only 96 hours for examination of the Shroud, while remaining 24 (of 120) was given to the Frei and Italians.
For a host of reasons too long to list here, STURP was a US centered operation although it intersected through Fr. Rinaldi with Ian Wilson, David Rolfe and thus Silent Witness, part of the proceeds of which helped finance STURP. (The money may have been “washed” in part through the Holy Shroud Guild.) And it was an American heir to a fortune that also provided financing to both. Riggi was adopted by STURP during the Turin examination.
In the ensuing years there were conferences and interchanges among the STURP veterans and European scientists. Information was freely shared. Perhaps the epitome of that occured at the 2008 Ohio conference when Giulio Fanti shared presnted an American scientist from Los Alamos Shroud threads that Fanti had received from Riggi,
I do not have definitive information from the individuals but I would make an educated guess that the yenta (marriage broker) between Kelly and Thibault was a STURP veteran with the inappropriate initials of BS.
The politics of Turin, the Vatican and the rest of the world were quite complex. It would behoove everybody to celebrate the joint efforts now becoming the norm. It would also be behoove everybody to celebrate the accomplishments of STURP rather than engage in unnecessary attacks on it just because it was predominantly American.
In 1978, at that time and place, the science that STURP applied was in fact miles ahead of any other place on Earth. The fact that the science was developed by the US nuclear and space programs, each unparalleled, is either high irony, or perhaps Divine Providence. Hey, you never know.
Thank you, authors, for your comparisons, although I should be grateful for one clarification, if I may. I simply cannot agree that the absorbance spectrum obtained by the Gilberts correlates to the spectra obtained by Cameron and George (1969), or Afromowitz and Callis (1992), or any of the others one can find on the internet.
The spectrum of methemoglobin is characterised by three distinct peaks, at 400nm, 500nm and 630nm. Only two of these are shown on the Cameron and George diagram (500nm and 630nm), and also, albeit oddly shifted, on the Afromowitz and Callis diagram (520nm and 650nm). The Gilberts’ Shroud spectrum not only does not have a peak at 630nm, nor a peak at 500nm, but most importantly of all no peak at all at 400nm. This is wholly characterisitic of all types of hemoglobin, and it’s missing. The Gilberts’ spectrum is definitely not typical of methemoglobin, nor of blood of any description, and its very partial resemblance to a blood spectrum over a small range of wavelengths is entirely coincidental.
Your observation is true but your conclusions are false.
In Gilbert’s paper it is true that there is no peak at about 400 nm. There is only a flat graph between 350 and about 520 nm.
But you forget 2 important facts:
1) Heller and Adler published in “Blood on the Shroud of Turin” the transmission spectrum of a brownish red stained fibril from one of the blood areas of the Shroud (in the Orphaned manuscript, p. 31). The peak at about 410 nm. is obvious. This peak is simply the famous Soret band (400-450 nm.) indicative of regular porphyrinic material. In addition a very small peak at about 520 nm. is also visible in their spectra.
2) Pellicori ( in “Spectral properties of the Shroud of Turin”, Applied optics, Vol;19, N)12, 15 June 1980, Fig.4, p. 1916) have shown the results of several experiments. On a 4 days-old bloodstain on linen the Soret band is clearly visible. But after artificially aging (60°C, 7.5 hours) this bands become much less obvious. Pellicori thought that the lack of the Soret band [in Gilbert’s spectra] was probably due to the poor Signal to Background ratio.
I completely disagree with your sentence: ” The Gilberts’ spectrum is definitely not typical of methemoglobin, nor of blood of any description, and its very partial resemblance to a blood spectrum over a small range of wavelengths is entirely coincidental.”
Coincidental? Really ? The Gilbert’s spectrum is typical of methemoglobin in the range 500-700 nm including the band at about 630-650 nm. (Don’t you see it ?)
The fact that the 400-450 nm. strong Soret band is not seen in Gilbert’s spectra is not truly significant because Pellicori has shown that ageing of blood on linen strongly lowers the Soret band and because of the poor Signal to background ratio.
More generally, what Kelly and myself tried to show is that if we have to think about TS blood, we have to take into account all the data from Heller and Adler, STURP data, Bollone, Pellicori etc..and not from a single source.
Can someone please post the peer reviewed research which confirms blood on Shroud. It would be much appreciated.
A Chemical Investigation of the Shroud of Turin, J.H. Heller and A.D. Adler, Canadian Society of Forensic Science Journal, Volume 4, No 3 (1981). I’m afraid it’s not available free online but can be ordered from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00085030.1981.10756882#.UrCOIaV2eXs.
Graphically, the ratio Ca/K seems to be around 1/2 to 1/3, are we talking about whole blood ?
Yes, whole blood;
Did they have a control sample with dried blood ?
Is ´nt this ratio lower in whole blood ?
Regarding peaks being coincidental, etc., nothing more to add to Thibault’s specific, detailed comments concerning the location of the peaks, etc. (everyone, of course, is entitled to their own interpretation). I only wish to further echo, as Thibault again pointed out, that it is the collective data which must be considered. In my own opinion, as a general comment, I believe that objectivity can become clouded over to various degrees whenever data relative to the Shroud is presented. Take the Shroud out of it and consider the same (collective) data in the analysis of a toga or metal blade suspected to be 700-2,000 years old, containing what could possibly be bloodstains-would the conclusion be the same or different? Would the age and/or condition of the sample be taken into consideration? And all of the collective data dismissed as invalid or inconclusive? Surely, of the numerous people doing numerous tests, some of them must have done some of them correctly. And as has been pointed out in the past, it wasn’t just if blood was present that was evaluated-both sides of the coin were examined-if it’s not blood, collective data considered, then what is it? This is just a rhetorical question, it is not meant for anyone specifically.
I have known Thibault (by correspondence) for several years since I first became interested in the blood aspects of the Shroud. We actually met independently of Barrie, although he would have made a fine yenta, I’m sure. As anyone who is acquainted with Thibault knows, he is completely professional, truly an honor and a pleasure to communicate and work with.
Well I certainly agree that Baima Bollone’s findings should be considered in conjunction with the STURP team, but I guess I’ll have to continue to plough my own furrow regarding the Soret band.
Heller & Adler in “Blood on the Shroud of Turin” clearly say “All these fibrils showed intense Soret (400-450nm) absorption indicative of a regular porphyrinic material.” Pellicori in “Spectral properties of the Shroud of Turin” clearly says “The Shroud curve shows […] no suggestion of a Soret band.” These two statements are directly contradictory.
Furthermore, Heller & Adler (Figure 2) show spectra from two blood samples that are totally different, and Pellicori (Figure 4, comparing only ‘Mean Blood Stain on Shroud’ and ‘Linen after 7.5h @ 60°C’) also shows two spectra which do not resemble each other at all.
I’ve even discovered another discrepancy (http://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/EP2220249B1/imgf0001.png). Notice the steep absorption trough at 700nm, followed by an equally steep rise. This is very different from the Gilberts’ spectrum, which continues to drop towards 750nm.
If we compare the Gilberts’ spectrum, from 0nm to 759nm, to the spectrum of methemoglobin over the same range, the conclusion that the two are the same cannot, in my opinion, be sustained, even allowing for convenient hypothesised distortion due to age.
I do take Kelly’s point about other old blood. Sadly, although blood seems to have been found on Aztec sacrificial knives, Utzi the Iceman, and on paleolithic stone tools I cannot find a spectral analysis of it. The blood seems to have been chiefly identified because of the survival of erythrocytes – which are sadly lacking on the Shroud.
In the composite spectrum above, the acid-methemoglobin plot appears distinct from the others-I’m not seeing this included on the google pics you provided. That is the species under comparison relative to Gilberts’ spectrum.
There is no “convenient hypothesized distortion due to age” These are your words, not mine. Sustain your own opinion, but don’t twist mine by using petty words like “convenient”. I pointed this out in relation to a collective evaluation of the data, that it’s incorrect to expect a direct comparison with results one would obtain with relatively fresh blood. This is true no matter what aged object is in question that is being evaluated. It is irrelevant of the Shroud.
Aztec knives, paleolithic stone tools-were those cleaned in between kills? A one and done or was it a cumulative effect, blood drying upon blood? I think it’s a tough comparison-too many variables, too many unknowns, too many differences. BB shows a photo of what may be a red blood cell from the Shroud in several of his books. It can also be seen on the Shroud iPad app. I don’t know how many were in the magnification field or how many threads he had to look through to find it. I would like to see microscopy done in conjunction with a gold-tagged antibody (or something similar) to show RBC specificity. And for more bloodstains to be evaluated. If the object in the photo was just a silica particle I would be okay with that. I’m not wanting to make a conclusion first, then working backwards to find things that support it. In all science, all experiments, all theories, there are grey areas. In my experience, when it’s all crystal clear, when everything stinks (all of the data is useless) or is in total, perfect harmony (the data is all perfect, absolutely perfect, nothing is even slightly off), look out: Objectivity has left the building. BTW, there is a huge difference between the Utzi the iceman and the Shroud. Red blood cells were taken from tissue of the iceman because there is a body to take it from, preserved in the ice. The Shroud contains only the image of a body, either real or intentionally fabricated.
I think everyone has to form their own opinion of whether bloodstains are present or not. I would find it odd that everyone who has tested for this was biased or didn’t know what they were doing, or was inept at evaluating results. I believe the best conclusion is based on a consideration of the collective data. That’s a main point of the article we put together.
Well I think I agree with most of that.
Me, too! A cold pint for the both of us then-Cheers!
Oh, and a couple of cigars, please…
The study involved dried blood (“A Scanning Electron Microscope Study of Dried Blood”).
“Fresh blood stains and smears, and crusts and stains on cloth collected during the past 7 years were examined in the SEM”
I want to add some line about the fact that Prof. P.L. Baima Bollone,
at the end of the intervention (= see the References) indicated some article and a book : “The DNA of God ?” by Leoncio Garza-Valdes “The DNA of God ?”, Doubleday, New York, 1999.
In that book there are (Appendix A, Part 2, pages 114-115) some word about the presumed replacement of the blood smears by fungi and bacteria …
Following Garza-Valdes 95 per cent of the blood areas on the Shroud have been taken over by fungi and bacteria … and the small amount of blood still present continues to diminish with the time (and perhaps this question had to do with the safekeeping … in a new container).
Garza-Valdes indicated also the question about the iron oxide (haematite) in the fibres’ organic deposits as explained by the deposits of the chemolithotrophic bacteria.
The same author wrote other words around the cyclic photophosphorylation and the anaerobic phototrops …
I presume you read the book.
What are your answers about these questions ?
What was the influence on previous analyses from that story ?
See also the question of the ratio Ca/K.
I believe we have to repeat the controls using the nanotools …
Am I wrong in my remark ?
Looking for elemental composition of whole blood, according to the conventional digestion method and microwave digestion method, I’ve found the following results :
Ca 15mg/L; K 1015mg/L ( Ca/K ratio <<< 0.25 ~ lowest ratio according to Dixon et al. )
How do we explain the difference?
Sorry for the questions, but can someone give a breakdown on how Garlaschelli’s shroud image reproduction fails to meet the original image?
We cannot believe in that image obtained using the H2SO4 …
See also the paper by Heimburger.
Heimburger concluded that the image has none of the important characteristics (except negativity and nonfluorescence) of the Shroud …
See also Heimburger and Fanti,
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But your question has nothing to do with my previous particular argument : the problem of the bacterial and fungal attacks on bloodstains … and the book by Garza-Valdes …
Have you read that book ?
What is your idea about the bacterial and fungal contamionation ?
What is the explanation about the Ca/K ratio ?
I have read in the previous message =
Ca 15mg/L; K 1015mg/L …
Moist blood is a nutrient medium par excellence for a range of bacteria and fungi and maybe larger organisms – insects etc. …and the centuries passed …
@ Piero, It was a random question and had nothing to do with the current discussion, Thanks for the info…
Julie, it seems that Garlaschelli used two different techniques, both of which produced some shroud-like characteristics but not others. The first was rubbing with dry powder. This produced a good image with the requisite 3-D and negative characteristics, but was a flop microscopically, as it depended entirely on the powder, which easily washed off, leaving an unmarked cloth. The second was rubbing with a dry powder mixed with 1% sulphuric acid into a paste. The powder washed off, as before, and the acid left a superficial degradation of the cloth which was enhanced by heating. However the marks produced by this method lacked the 3-D and negative quality of the Shroud. It is not clear to me the proportions in which the powder and the acid were combined (pastes can be thick or thin), and think that further investigation of this method, using different thicknesses of paste, would be worth carrying out.
Piero, the “bioplastic coating hypothesis” of Leoncio Garza-Valdez was largely discredited when it was recognised that the coating would have to be twice the weight of the shroud itself in order to affect a 1st century cloth so much that it appeared 13th century when carbondated. It suffered more when some supposed filamentous bacteria pointed out by Garza-Valdez were reclassified as ultimate threads from the linen fibrils, and more still when it was realised that bacteria and fungi are heterotrophic and, since all their carbon would be derived from what they ate (the shroud), the radiocarbon date would not be affected by them anyway. However it is not impossible that some bacterial contamination of the shroud may have affected its chemical composition.
I have know the untenable Dr.Garza-Valdes’s arguments about the Shroud radiocarbon dating (also) because in March 2004 I have bought “The Orphaned Manuscript” by Alan Adler (Dorothy Crispino editor, first edition : 2002) and then I know what you wrote about the question. The objections by Adler appeared in the last article of that book : “The nature of the Body Images of the Shroud of Turin” (paper first published in : Proceedings of the Shroud of Turin International Research Conference, Brian Walsh ed., Richmond VA, 1999). As you underlined Garza-Valdes indicated the problem of the accretions of microbiological
organisms, in the form of a bioplastic coating as the cause of the 14C results …
B.T.W. : In the book “The DNA of God ?” (Chapter 9 : “Knights of The Round Table”) Dr. Garza-Valdes indicated that Adler looked through the microscope at the slides and said that L. Garza-Valdes was right, that he (Adler) had checked his fibers and found the bioplastic coating on them … Instead in the article published in 1999 the famous american chemist (Adler = 1931* – 2000 +) denied the prodigious amount of bacterial metabolism and wrote something about the claims of pervasive amount of polyester that was not seen in the whole cloth infrared spectral studies, nor in the microFTIR studies, nor in the enzymatic studies …
In 1998 I underlined the possibility to use the SPMs as useful tools to detect the truth.
Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) is extensively being used for characterizing thin film surfaces and then I am curious to see what are the results from the controls on thin layers on linen fibrils (= in order to improve the knowledges [see : the question about the cellulosic DP], to detect the contamination [= bacterial and fungal attacks] and also try to understand the level of contamination and the BIF…)
controls on red blood cells …
For example : the nanomechanical characteristics of the membrane cytoskeleton of human erythrocytes were studied using atomic force microscopy (AFM).
Reference (only as an example) : the study
“Atomic force microscopic observation of surface-supported human erythrocytes”
Here an excerpt from the abstract
>The self-assembly, fine structure, cell diameter, thickness, and reticulate cytoskeleton of erythrocytes on the mica surface were investigated. The adhesive forces that correspond to the membrane elasticity of various parts of the erythrocyte membrane surface were measured directly by AFM to be 0.64±0.14 nN for cell indentation, 4.2±0.7 nN for cell hump, and 11.5 nN for side waist, respectively. The deformation of erythrocytes was discussed …
That study was publisehed in : Applied Physics Letters (Volume:91 , Issue: 2 )
Date of Publication: Jul 2007
Page(s): 023901 – 023901-3
ISSN : 0003-6951
What are your scientific remarks ?
I beg pardon about the lack of the letter “n” (in “known”) in my previous message.
— * * * —
I have known the luster of linen fibrils.
Al Adler pointed the finger on presumed “bioplastic coating”
(“… he seems to be unaware that all linen looks like this. It is caled luster …”) and then he indicated three textile references, respectively dated : 1947, 1950 and 1976 (the last is the following : “Essentials of Textiles”, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, NY 1976).
I want to add that I never saw (in studies about the Shroud) the exact measurement of the luster.
See also : the residual linen wax, etc., etc.
Have you the useful experience on that argument ?
Let’s take the opposite approach done by Thibault and Kelly for a second…
Imagine the bloodstains on the Shroud would NOT be made of real blood material. Question : If that would have been the case, how in the world independent professionals like Baima Bollone and Heller and Adler would all have been fooled and never been able to determine its real « non-blood » nature? This is so ludicrous as an idea that it’s well enough to understand that the conclusion that the bloodstains on the Shroud are really made of blood material (most probably coming from the man who left an imprint on the cloth) has to be considered as one of the most solid data that ever came out of Shroud research. And if you want to know the implications of such a solid data, please read this paper : http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/n76part5.pdf
Note : the same reflection is also true if the bloodstains on the Shroud would be made of a mix of real blood and some sort of pigments. In such a case, the same question can be asked : How in the world independent professionals like Baima Bollone and Heller and Adler would all have been fooled and never been able to determine that there were some evident « non-blood » material in the bloodstained areas? Ludicrous idea!
I am not exactly sure, just my thoughts, would be best to verify elsewhere, but in the blood the potassium levels associated with the cellular fraction are substantially higher (around 100 fold?) than those with the liquid portion. The method you mentioned for whole blood would disrupt (release) the cellular portion, allowing everything (the total) to be effectively measured. In a bloodstain, as the blood dries any cells present will dehydrate and die. In speaking to a forensic scientist about this once, he explained it to me as similar to a flat tire having a slow leak and collapsing. The membrane is still “relatively” intact (i.e. not blown to bits), which allows RBCs to reseal & rehydrate during preparation for microscopy, resuming a somewhat normal morphology. I do not known if conventional SEM, as used by Dixon (or others) would necessarily detect potassium that may still remain within dried RBCs in a bloodstain. This might contribute to the difference between a measurement of whole blood relative to a bloodstain. Or maybe much of it (potassium) would still be expected to leak out of the RBCs as it collapses and dies during drying, I am not really sure. Again, others could answer this better than me, these are just my thoughts.
Ok, i would rather say a dead cell cannot maintain a significant K+ gradient, what is sure is we do not measure whole blood composition,
The distribution volumes of RBC, haemoglobin, and plasma on a cloth seem different (and depending on the porosity of the cloth). Thinking of the serum halo we can see on the shroud.
Do we know the volumes of the samples on which were based the SEM/EDX data ?
Yes, I’ve read the book. In my opinion, it is a big leap to go from analysis of a few fibers to “95 percent of the blood areas on the Shroud have been taken over and continue to diminish with time.” Certainly the Shroud is not pristine with a history of being stored under aseptic conditions, of course there will be bacteria present, but in my own opinion this is extrapolation/exaggeration. Again, my own opinion, but the “DNA of God” on the Shroud has yet to be demonstrated that it actually originated from a blood cell, and is not the result of contamination (by humans-not bacteria!). None of the genes examined in this study are specific in that regard-I would also caution exaggeration here as well, the reported DNA sequences could have originated from blood cells, but there has been no demonstration that blood specific DNA products exist on the cloth.
Thank your for your answer.
In any case I think that ancient DNA (etc.) seems to be
a difficult field of investigations !!!
I have read some studies on that argument.
Here a title :
Biomolecular Archaeology: An Introduction
by T. A. Brown, Keri Brown
I want to remember that the overall impact that microbial attack has on the biomolecular content of an archaeological specimen depends on the nature of microflora in the environment in which the specimen is buried. But the Shroud was keeped in safe places …
However, Gérard Lucotte (‘Vérités sur le Saint Siaire. Etudes scientifiques récentes sur le linceul de Turin’ 2010, p.147 ff) did observe erythrocytes, and he also publishes (p.273-274) some photographs. Of course, it could be argued that one should reject these observations. But at least his report should be mentioned.
Thanks, Jos. I’m familiar with Lucotte’s book and have corresponded with him regarding aragonite. The provenance of his samples has been criticised, but his microphotographs, coupled to the elemental analyses below, consitute a fascinating examination of the various particles he (or anyone else) has encountered. Of the 2000 or so particles catalogued, he identified 9 as human erythrocytes, although somewhat cautiously as they seemed rather smooth and undamaged compared to much of the other material. It would be good to see further investigations along these lines.
Maintaining a K+ gradient, sure! I was thinking more about if a membrane(s) might influence the sensitivity or even several membranes piled on top of each other-again, I really don’t know. The distribution volumes of cloth versus whole blood, etc., in my opinion this makes normalization with whole blood (with a known volume of sample) difficult for quantitative comparisons, which would include bilirubin. Don’t know the specific volumes of the sample used, though I am guessing relatively small, but again, not sure. Sorry, couldn’t be of more help.
Maybe i was not clear. I was thinking of what you test when you test ´dried blood on a cloth´ compared to whole blood.
And a large part of what you lose, maybe the liquid part (serum and intracellular fluid which leaked from the ´collapsed´ RBC) which has diffused through the porous cloth.
I see (I think) what you mean, diffused, as in soaked through, spread out, not fully captured in the SEM analysis, relative to whole blood.
That’s the point. That’s why i was wondering if they had a control with dried whole blood.
Errata corrige :
“called” and not “caled” !
Al Adler wrote :
>His work (= the attempt by Garza-Valdes) lacks hard convincing quantitative evidence on which one can judge the merit of his claims
Instead if we read the
BSTS NEWSLETTER NO: 44 – November/December 1996
A Visit to Dr.Leoncio Garza-Valdes in San Antonio
There are the following words :
>A clear plastic coating may also explain one oddity noted from my own personal viewing of the Shroud in 1973 – that the cloth seemed to have a surprising surface ‘sheen’ …
>A glossmeter (also gloss meter) is an instrument which is used to measure gloss of materials such as paint, plastics and paper. Gloss is a measure of the proportion of light that has a specular reflection from the surface, it is defined by the ASTM as “angular selectivity of reflectance, involving surface-reflected light, responsible for the degree to which reflected highlights or images of objects may be seen as superimposed on a surface”. …
There is an old article in :
Journal of the Textile Institute Transactions
Volume 28, Issue 9, 1937
A Photometer for the Measurement of the LUSTRE or GLOSS of TEXTILE AND OTHER MATERIALS PART 1. Construction of Instrument
I have found another old reference :
George S. Buck, JR andFrank A. McCord
Luster and Cotton
Textile Research Journal November 1949 19: 715-754,
In my idea the SPM can show the truth at nano-level.
But I have chosen that way (the use of AFM techniques) not for these questions (the presumed bioplastic coating or the luster).
The main problem to investigate in a good manner with the AFM techniques
seemed to be the cellulosic DP …
But the blood is a very interesting argument.
The Shroud is near a blood object and the blood
of Jesus is present on other textiles :
I beg pardon about the previous confusions about : letter “n” and letter “l”…
In any case the main argument is the BLOOD (… and the level of damages … after the centuries … or after the manipulations) and not the luster (or the presumed “bioplastic coating” [… or “plasma deposition coating” ?!?? Sorry ! …]) …
Not done that way (acid digested or microwaved prior); “samples analyzed were prepared by spreading the whole blood onto graphite stubs or by mounting the cloth pieces on carbon stubs”
And did they get the same composition from the samples “whole blood onto graphite stubs” compared to dried blood on cloth (“cloth pieces on carbon stubs” ?) ?
Thank you Anoxie for your comments.
From Dixon’s paper:
Blood on Graphite (in %):
Ca: not detected.
K: 18 – 24.79 %
Blood on cloth (in %):
Ca: 4.6-13.75 %
K: 10.73- 22.64 %
Previously, you wrote (# 20): ” Looking for elemental composition of whole blood, according to the conventional digestion method and microwave digestion method, I’ve found the following results :
Ca 15mg/L; K 1015mg/L ( Ca/K ratio <<< 0.25 ~ lowest ratio according to Dixon et al. )
How do we explain the difference? "
Because you can't simply compare the elemental composition of whole blood in mg/l to elemental composition of blood as given in EDS spectra (Dixon, Bollone).
EDS spectra give the relative number of K and Ca atoms in the sample.
If you want to compare these data to the elemental composition of blood (in mg/l), you have to take into account the weight of the atoms and much more …
Thank you for this answer, and looking forward for more details, it looks more consistent to the actual composition of blood.
Atomic mass of K and Ca are similar, that´s why i directly compared relative composition.
From this source (in g/cm3) for whole blood:
– Silicon: 1.4-2.95*10-6 (rounded to 2*10-6)
– Sulfur: 3.8-5*10-2 (rounded to 4*10-2)
– Potassium: 1.6-2.4*10-3 (rounded to 2*10-3)
– Calcium: 8.4-11.5*10-5 (rounded to 10-4) (in plasma but there is almost no Ca in RBC),
– Phosphorus: 3.5-4.3*10-4 (rounded to 4*10-4)
Now, taking into account the molar weight of the atoms, I got for one cm3 of whole blood:
– Si: 0.056*10-3 mol/cm3 of whole blood
– S: 6.4*10-3 mol/cm3
– K: 38*10-3 mol/cm3
– Ca: 2*10-3 mol/cm3
– Ph: 6*10-3 mol/cm3
If Ca=1, then Ph/Ca=3, S/Ca=3.2, K/Ca=16
Compare that with Dixon’s data.
Obviously, there is no direct relationship between the elemental “true” composition of human whole blood and the EDS data of whole blood.
Therefore, one can only compare EDS data with EDS data.
I am wrong?
No, you’re right, they should have their own control with their method to compare relative composition of what they tested.
What did they get for the composition of the cloth ?
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