Henry Swan

Henry SwanIn existographies, Henry Swan (1913-1996) (CR:21) was an American surgeon, noted for his hypothermia induced heart stop technique for cardiac repair and for his 1974 book Thermoregulation and Bioenergetics, wherein he employs a large number of cogent life terminology upgrades, such as defining biochemistry, and its seems biology, in non-defunct theory upgrade terms, as the study of “powered CHNOPS systems”.

A snipit of Swan's upgrade definition of biochemistry:

Biochemistry (Swan, 1974)

In a truncated manner, Swan thus seems to be employing the following definition: [1]

Biochemistry: study of powered CHNOPS systems or CHNOPS matrices.

In fuller detail, Swan states:

"But a biochemistry could emerge in which life is powered by the * This small group of low molecular-weight 'core elements of life' has been dubbed the 'CHNOPS System' by Armstrong, et al. (1964)."

The term "CHNOPS system" was introduced in a 1964 US National Bureau of Standards report entitled “Preliminary Report on Survey of Thermodynamic Properties of the Compounds of the Elements of CHNOPS” by a group of researchers led George Armstrong. [2]

Swan redefines the term biosphere, in short, as follows: [1]

Biosphere: region of energy supplied liquid water existing terrestrial surface, encompassing steady-state organizations of CHNOPS matrix forms.Biosphere (Henry Swan, 1974)

Here we notice, in the truncated version (left) that defunct concept of "life" drops out of the definition and hence the region under discussion falls within the purview of modern hard physical science. This upgrade for Swan's definition would be something along the lines of the following:

Biosphere → Medium powered CHNOPS+ region

The clarifier "medium", as contrasted with "low powered" (too cold) or high powered (too hot), signifies that Swan's comment "region which liquid water can exist" seems to be pointing to what is now referred to as the "habitable zone" a certain region away from medium sized stars wherein CHNOPS-based matter can become animate, i.e. life-like, in olden days speak:

Habitable zoneHabitable zone (temperature)
Depictions of the habitable zone by distance (Ѻ) from sun and by temperature (Ѻ), the model that Swan referring to in his comment "region which liquid water can exist", in other words planets that exist with mean surface temperatures near to 300 °K. Some will incorrectly refer so the habitable zone as the stellar "band of life", or something along these lines, but in life terminology upgrade terms, one defines that as the circumstellar zone of in which powered CHNOPS+ matrices can exist in bound state animate forms, in various states of reaction existence.


1. Swan, Henry. (1974). Thermoregulation and Bioenergetics: Patterns for Vertebrate Survival (CHNOPS, 9+ pgs; biochemistry, pg. 2). American Elsevier Pub. Co.
2. Armstrong, George T., Domalski, E.S., Furukawa, George T., and Krivanec, M.A. (1964). “Preliminary Report on Survey of Thermodynamic Properties of the Compounds of the Elements of CHNOPS”, National Bureau of Standards (US) Report number: 8521.

External links
Henry Swan (profile) – NIH.gov.

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