Hundreds of genes seen sparking to life 2 days after death
The discovery that many genes are still working up to 48 hours after death has implications for organ transplants, forensics and our very definition of death
When a doctor declares a person dead, some of their body may still be alive and kicking – at least for a day or two. New evidence in animals suggests that many genes go on working for up to 48 hours after the lights have gone out.
This hustle and bustle has been seen in mice and zebrafish, but there are hints that genes are also active for some time in deceased humans. This discovery could have implications for the safety of organ transplants as well as help pathologists pinpoint a time of death more precisely, perhaps to within minutes of the event.
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