Life after death? Some genes turn on after we die, and we don’t know why

j x i stary phcuqffzqja
Image: Pixabay

“We really know nothing about what happens when you die,” says Peter Noble, a former professor at the University of Alabama. Noble knows firsthand that surprises await scientists studying the end of life: he helped discover that long-dormant genes can spring into action hours or even days after an organism dies.

These discoveries could give us a better understanding of how genes work when we’re still alive, and they might help improve medical procedures like organ transplants. “Knowing how organs change on a molecular level after the death of the body … could maybe help to improve the practices for organ transplantation or organ preservation,” says [researcher Roderic] Guigó.

The other big potential application of their studies, say Guigó and Noble, is in forensic science. The researchers found that different genes activate at different time intervals after death—one might regularly kick in six hours post-mortem, whereas another might fire up 24 hours later. Forensic scientists might be able to apply this information to make more accurate estimates of time of death.

While the reason for the reactivation of these genes remains elusive, what’s clear is that death is a more nuanced process than previously thought. 

Read full, original post: After You Die, These Genes Come to Life

Related article:  Viewpoint: Why consumer DNA tests are more dangerous than you might think
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Sometime in 2019, probably in China, SARS CoV-2 figured out a way to interact with a specific "spike" on the ...

Philip Njemanze: Leading African anti-GMO activist claims Gates Foundation destroying Nigeria

Nigerian anti-GMO activist, physician, and inventor pushes anti-gay and anti-GMO ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend