Good. I am challenged by a body of work and an opinion.

Unfortunately, I am not given a vector by which to reply so I'll take it on indirectly.  Granted, the odds of any acetone level in the body approaching a combustion threshold approach zip.  However, the phenomenon has been observed dozens to possibly hundreds of times – so something's happening here.  What it is ain't exactly clear.

Conversely, something that HAS been predicted to have occurred billions of times in our galaxy alone: sentient life, has only been observed once – and the observers, by definition, cannot be objective.  So which is less likely?  That some chemical reaction of which we are unaware has happened multiple times, or that we exist at all on a distant peripheral arm of a galaxy in an unremarkable solar system?   

When I was in school plate tectonics was a crazy idea.  In many places, EVOLUTION is STILL a crazy idea along with anthropogenic climate change.  I think it might be quite possible for an experienced drinker to binge on high-test to a point at which normal people would die of alcohol poisoning.  It further seems possible that a few such individuals might have a genetic ability, and enough liver left, to supercharge a ketosis reaction and, at least for a moment, become volatile.  Long odds?  Sure.  Impossible?  Not proven.

So, if no one minds, I'll just keep this idea in the realm of possibilities until I am forced by a better explanation to discard it.  I'll even make a prediction. The alcohol involved will be gin and the explosive mixture is quite likely a combination of several chemicals including methane, all of which get their turn at rapid oxidation, or combine to promote a vigorous oxidation in the presence of a flame. 

I do appreciate the 'cunning stunts' comment.  🙂

a hui hou

This message contains search results from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). Do not reply directly to this message

Sender's message: here's the link you quoted… Brian J. Ford THE MICROSCOPE • Vol. 60:2, pp 63–72 (2012) Solving the Mystery of Spontaneous Human Combustion the so called experiejmental demonstration, soaking porcine tissue in acetone? does contentration of acentone in body ever approach combustion threshold? unlikey. but grimmer and more challenging than slapstick failed stunts… but popular entertaining ratings goes to “cunning stunts” (ala Nabakov' Pale Fire, alliterative)– cheers,

Sent on: Wed Sep 26 15:58:50 2012


PubMed Results

Items 1 – 23 of 23    (Display the 23 citations in PubMed)

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2. Measurement of breath acetone concentrations by selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry in type 2 diabetes.
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3. Breath acetone concentration; biological variability and the influence of diet.
Spaněl P, Dryahina K, Rejšková A, Chippendale TW, Smith D.
Physiol Meas. 2011 Aug;32(8):N23-31. Epub 2011 Jul 1.
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4. Isoprene and acetone concentration profiles during exercise on an ergometer.
King J, Kupferthaler A, Unterkofler K, Koc H, Teschl S, Teschl G, Miekisch W, Schubert J, Hinterhuber H, Amann A.
J Breath Res. 2009 Jun;3(2):027006. Epub 2009 Jun 9.
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5. Metabolic response to a ketogenic breakfast in the healthy elderly.
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J Nutr Health Aging. 2009 Apr;13(4):293-8.
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6. Evaluation of isopropanol concentrations in the presence of acetone in postmortem biological fluids.
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J Anal Toxicol. 2008 Oct;32(8):719-20. No abstract available.
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7. Direct evidence of iNOS-mediated in vivo free radical production and protein oxidation in acetone-induced ketosis.
Stadler K, Bonini MG, Dallas S, Duma D, Mason RP, Kadiiska MB.
Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Aug;295(2):E456-62. Epub 2008 Jun 17.
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8. Olanzapine-induced hyperglycemic ketoacidosis and corresponding acetone concentrations post-mortem: a forensic interpretation.
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9. A human physiological model describing acetone kinetics in blood and breath during various levels of physical exercise.
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10. Application of a physiologically based pharmacokinetic model for reference dose and reference concentration estimation for acetone.
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J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2003 Dec 12;66(23):2209-25.
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11. Effects of variation in exposure to airborne acetone and difference in work load on acetone concentrations in blood, urine, and exhaled air.
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Am Ind Hyg Assoc J. 1998 Apr;59(4):242-51.
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12. Breath acetone in congestive heart failure.
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13. Medical aspects of ketone body metabolism.
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Clin Invest Med. 1995 Jun;18(3):193-216. Review.
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14. Blood acetone concentration in “normal people” and in exposed workers 16 h after the end of the workshift.
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Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 1994;65(5):285-9.
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15. Concentrations of acetone in venous blood samples from drunk drivers, type-I diabetic outpatients, and healthy blood donors.
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16. Acetone and acetol inhibition of insulin-stimulated glucose oxidation in adipose tissue and isolated adipocytes.
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17. Breath acetone concentrations in fasting male volunteers: further studies and effect of alcohol administration.
Jones AW.
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18. Breath-acetone concentrations in fasting healthy men: response of infrared breath-alcohol analyzers.
Jones AW.
J Anal Toxicol. 1987 Mar-Apr;11(2):67-9.
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19. Correlation between acetone-potentiated CCl4-induced liver injury and blood concentrations after inhalation or oral administration.
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Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 1986 Jun 30;84(2):286-94.
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20. Acetone metabolism in humans during diabetic ketoacidosis.
Reichard GA Jr, Skutches CL, Hoeldtke RD, Owen OE.
Diabetes. 1986 Jun;35(6):668-74.
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21. Determination of the concentration and specific activity of acetone in biological fluids.
Gavino VC, Vinet B, David F, Garneau M, Brunengraber H.
Anal Biochem. 1986 Feb 1;152(2):256-61.
PMID: 3963362 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
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22. Plasma acetone metabolism in the fasting human.
Reichard GA Jr, Haff AC, Skutches CL, Paul P, Holroyde CP, Owen OE.
J Clin Invest. 1979 Apr;63(4):619-26.
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23. Studies in the Acetone Concentration in Blood, Urine, and Alveolar air: I. A Micromethod for the Estimation of Acetone in Blood, based on the Iodoform Method.
Widmark EM.
Biochem J. 1919 Dec;13(4):430-45. No abstract available.
PMID: 16742872 [PubMed] Free PMC Article
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