Date: Mon Dec 8 14:14:57 2003
Posted By: Stephen Lattanzi, M.D., Hematology/Oncology, New London Cancer Center
Area of science: Medicine
I'm sorry, but I don't know the answer to this question! The answer would
- The type of cell. Different cells have different lifespans in
vivo (in a living person). Also, the lifespan of a cell might be
different after death.
- The conditions that the body was in after death (hot, cold, exposure
to the elements, etc.)
As a hematologist (a doctor who treats people with blood diseases),
I can tell you about the lifespans of normal blood cells. A red blood
cell lives 100-120 days, a white blood cell only a few days,
and a platelet about 8-12 days.(1)
I'll ask the MadSci folks if they know someone who can give you a better
answer. Good luck!
- Stephen C. Lattanzi, M.D.
1. Williams WJ et al. Hematology, Ed. 4. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-
Hill Co., 1990.
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