It turns out that the ground stops bleeding. You only need to sterilize the dirt

A new UBC research shows that soil silicates – the most abundant material in the ground’s crust – play a key role in blood coagulation. Therefore, land in a wound can stop deadly bleeding.

Research has shown that the presence of soil in wounds helps activate blood protein, known as coagulation factor XII. After activation, the protein starts a quick chain reaction, which helps to lead to the formation of a “plug” that closes the wound and limits blood loss.

Although the researchers warn that there is a high risk of infection from unsterilized dirt, they say that their results may be relevant for the future development of new strategies using sterilized soil to help deal with bleeding and potentially understand the infection after an injury.

“Soil is not just our basis for growing food and building materials. Here, we found that the soil can actually help control bleeding after an injury, causing coagulation”.

Christian Kastrup, Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine and Molecular Biology, UBC Blood Research Center.

Excessive bleeding causes up to 40% mortality among injured patients. In extreme cases and in remote areas where there is no access to medical services and wound sealing products such as sponges and sealants, sterilized soil can potentially be used to prevent fatal bleeding after injuries.

The study also revealed that the mechanism by which soil silicates activate factor XII and promote faster coagulation is unique to terrestrial mammals or those that live mostly or completely on land.

This discovery demonstrates how terrestrial mammals, from mice to humans, evolved to naturally use silicates as a specific signal for factor XII to trigger blood coagulation. These results will have a profound impact on how we view our relationships with the environment.

Scientists’ next plan includes testing whether a blood reaction to silicates helps prevent microbial contamination in the soil. They will also try to check whether silicates from the lunar surface are able to activate factor XII and stop bleeding.

“If Moon silicates activate Factor XII, this discovery may be useful in preventing death among people visiting or colonizing the Moon, and it will provide additional insight into identifying materials that can stop bleeding in very remote conditions with limited resources and medicines”.

Christian Kastrup, Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine and Molecular Biology, UBC Blood Research Center.

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Author: Flyn Braun
Graduated from Cambridge University. Previously, he worked in various diferent news media. Currently, it is a columnist of the us news section in the Free News editors.
Function: Editor
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