Three questions about the "crime scene": What is the age-old champagne really good for?

The ARD repeated an old "crime scene" from Münster from 2015 on Sunday evening - and thus reached an audience of millions.

Three questions about the "crime scene": What is the age-old champagne really good for?

The ARD repeated an old "crime scene" from Münster from 2015 on Sunday evening - and thus reached an audience of millions. "Explain Chimera" delivered a lot of bizarre scenes. A tracheotomy with a ballpoint pen. Two people with identical DNA - and a case of 180-year-old champagne. We answer the most important questions about this "crime scene".

In a scene at the beginning of the "Tatort" episode, Inspector Thiel chokes on a sandwich, gasps for air, coughs and threatens to suffocate. Boerne is right there and tries to solve the chunk with a special technique, the so-called Heimlich maneuver. However, the attempt fails, Thiel faints, and Boerne boldly grabs a kitchen knife, pushes it into the commissioner's windpipe and puts a pen case in the wound. This is how he saves his life. Does this actually work?

"This scene has nothing to do with reality," says Peter Sefrin, federal doctor at the German Red Cross (DRK). It starts with the actual cut, which cannot be made with a conventional knife - because that requires a sharp scalpel with which the cut can be made exactly.

There is also a risk that such an operation will injure the large blood vessels next to the trachea, which supply the brain with oxygen. "If the incision is too wide, the patient can bleed to death afterwards," says Sefrin.

Emergency physicians are prepared for the specifics of such an intervention in special courses. In an emergency, a so-called tube is available to them - a kind of tube that they can insert into the wound. A ventilator can be connected to this to supply the unconscious patient with oxygen. Peter Sefrin believes that it is impossible for a narrow ballpoint pen case to have the same effect.

Researchers from Great Britain come to the same conclusion. They had tested whether ballpoint pens are suitable as an aid in an emergency - with sobering results. The majority of the pins tested were unsuitable, their diameter simply too small to supply the patient with sufficient oxygen.

After the murder of a Brazilian champagne seller, Thiel and Boerne find traces of the victim's blood at the crime scene - and are surprised when they find fresh blood from the Brazilian at another crime scene shortly afterwards. At this point, however, he has been dead for days. The investigators can also rule out that he had a twin brother.

Forensic pathologist Boerne concludes that the murder victim must have had blood cancer in the course of his life, which was treated with a stem cell donation. This is the only way that two people would carry the same blood characteristics. But is that true?

For a stem cell transplant, the cells are filtered from the donor's blood or taken from the iliac crest. Doctors then transfer them directly into the bloodstream of the leukemia patient.

If treatment is successful, the stem cells make new blood cells, and the recipient adopts the donor's immune system and blood type. "The depiction at the scene of the crime was absolutely correct," says Klaus Ludwiczak from the German Bone Marrow Donor Center (DKMS). "However, the recipient only takes over the tissue characteristics of the blood, the DNA of the body remains unchanged."

Boerne's uncle Gustav travels from Florida to Munster. He recovered a case of champagne from 1829 off Cuba - and now he wants to sell it. But is such old sparkling wine still drinkable? And what is it worth? The screenwriters Stefan Cantz and Jan Hinter based their search on a real find: in 2010, divers recovered 162 bottles of champagne from a wreck off Finland that had been lying on the bottom of the Baltic Sea for 170 years. 79 bottles were still drinkable. The storage on the seabed was ideal: due to the constant pressure, the low temperatures of 4 to 6 degrees and the darkness, the sparkling wine survived the long period of time undamaged.

Oenologists who were allowed to taste the champagne were enthusiastic about the quality. Eleven bottles from the find were auctioned off in 2012 – for 125,500 euros. This results in a price of around 11,400 euros per bottle. That doesn't quite correspond to the sum of 40 to 50,000 euros traded in "Tatort", but Finland isn't Cuba either.

The text was created on June 1, 2016. We updated it again for the repeat of the "Tatort" episode "Explain Chimera".

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