Related topics: carbon

Research team describes the composition of asteroid Phaethon

Asteroid Phaethon, which is five kilometers in diameter, has been puzzling researchers for a long time. A comet-like tail is visible for a few days when the asteroid passes closest to the sun during its orbit.

Interdisciplinary team studies decomposition effects on soil

Forensic researchers at UT Knoxville's famous Anthropological Research Facility, popularly known as the "Body Farm," have made headlines for decades in their discoveries of what happens to human bodies after death. Now, a ...

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Decomposition (or rotting) is the process by which organic material is broken down into simpler forms of matter. The process is essential for recycling the finite matter that occupies physical space in the biome. Bodies of living organisms begin to decompose shortly after death. Although no two organisms decompose in the same way, they all undergo the same sequential stages of decomposition. The science which studies decomposition is generally referred to as taphonomy from the Greek word taphos, meaning tomb.

One can differentiate abiotic and biotic decomposition or biodegradation. The former one means "degradation of a substance by chemical or physical processes, eg hydrolysis). The latter one means "the metabolic breakdown of materials into simpler components by living organisms", typically by microorganisms.

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