Life or Death Hide and Seek

CO2 Molecules

During many natural or terrorist-induced crises, humans have been trapped under buildings, cars, and many other large objects. Far too often, these people have been found too late to be helped. Scientists have recently started looking into ways to find these trapped people faster. They have found that these trapped people will release metabolites, or the body’s breakdown products, through breath and other body fluids. These fluids react with the fallen building around them, leaving chemical evidence that a person is there. A large component of these fluids is carbon dioxide, which, if detected in larger amounts, leaves even better evidence of a lost person. Another indicator of the presence of a person is their personal odor. Many people are concerned about the way they smell, and often wear perfume to mask their own personal smell. In this situation, you would be happy to smell bad!

This seems like a fool-proof way of solving the problem of finding trapped people, but complications in experimenting have come up. For example, scientists have pondered the ethics of conducting such an experiment; test subjects could only be humans and must be able to emit these chemicals effectively, which means they have to be either asleep or subject to pain.

Even though experiments are still being conducted, scientists say that devices used for this type of task may still be used in the field. It can’t harm any processes; it can only assist in the search for trapped humans.

This study is far from over, but I believe that it is well under way. It shows much promise in the hypothesis and has already helped in a few circumstances. If another terrorist attack or earthquake should hit, would we want to be more prepared for the outcomes and be able to find and rescue more people than ever before? If we do not continue this research, we may never know how many lives can be saved. Think of yourself in this situation. It may be hard now, but wouldn’t you want to be found?

2 thoughts on “Life or Death Hide and Seek

  1. This was a very nice blog and could be very helpful in the future. I think it is a big deal that we expand or knowledge on ways to help find trapped people. You are totally right this research is a matter of life and death. I did some research at the website: and learned more about what they are doing to help find people. FINDER is a device that can detect on conscious people and help save their lives. They say it is small, easy to carry, and easy to use. I think that it would be hard to find someone using their bodily fluids. I think that would take much time and the person might not have that much time. I think the odor detecting would work. They have used dogs to sniff around and try to find them lately. I think the evolution of finding trapped people will continue to grow and we will be able to find trapped people very easily.

  2. This blog is written very nicely, it is full of helpful and scientific information in finding humans under trapped rubble. It is a very seriously precaution to take that these situations may very well happen. You have to be ready to take action as soon as you can once such events of fallen rubble take place. Knowing body odors, and finding people withouut harming anything else is life saving and very important. Knowing this information is beneifcal and will save lives. I found my research and helpful information here:

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