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New study shows genes stay alive after death

Posted on Wednesday, 22 June, 2016 | Comment icon 14 comments

Some genes may remain active for up to two days after you die. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Christoph Bock
Scientists have found that some of your genes may continue to live for over 48 hours after you die.
The discovery, which was made thanks to a new study at the University of Washington, indicates that certain genes continue to thrive long after someone has been declared clinically deceased.

The research involved comparing the mRNA levels in fish and mice both before and after death.

While the overall mRNA levels did decrease as expected, the scientists found that several hundred genes in each specimen showed unexpected spikes of activity two days after the animal had died.
These genes appeared to be those involved in the body's physiological healing responses which might still have enough energy to kick-start certain processes that protect against damage.

The full implications of this discovery have yet to be understood but organ transplants, among other medical procedures, could potentially benefit from genes remaining active for so long.

The find could also lead to a more precise way of determining a person's exact time of death.

Source: Popular Science | Comments (14)

Tags: Genes, Death

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by AnonsMouse on 23 June, 2016, 2:11
... and so the zombie apocalypse begins!
Comment icon #6 Posted by seeder on 23 June, 2016, 2:25
  the link is the New Scientist...pretty good source to be fair
Comment icon #7 Posted by qxcontinuum on 24 June, 2016, 4:40
this is not a new discovery. 5 yeas ago i read this fact as fact in animal cloning. Clinics all over the world who clones our dearest little pets advises to collect tissues and skin within 24 hours.. this site refers to even more ; 5 days after death just died/Dog_Died.htm  
Comment icon #8 Posted by paperdyer on 24 June, 2016, 15:29
Well, if the genes do affect the healing of the body, maybe if stimulated long enough and properly they could heal someone in a coma, as long as life support was being used if needed.  Maybe this is what happens when a person comes out of a coma.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Stacey burgett on 26 June, 2016, 3:37
Well everything is made up of energy so I could see it possible.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Stacey burgett on 26 June, 2016, 3:41
Well everything is made up of energy so I could see it possible.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Stacey burgett on 26 June, 2016, 3:57
Well everything is made up of energy so I could see it possible.
Comment icon #12 Posted by ouija ouija on 26 June, 2016, 11:40
I agree that this statement is so important it needs to be said three times!
Comment icon #13 Posted by White Unicorn on 26 June, 2016, 15:51
I have had three people in my family who had heart stop and were saved by heroic measures but were in a coma after. Each time next of kin got the option to pull the plugs. I think you made a good point because each was on life support and after came out of coma as if nothing happened except NDE recollections.  One was in coma two months and the other two were three before coming out of coma. I also  had an uncle  who was in one for three and came out too. I suspected weird genetic responses had alot to do with it. My great uncle was also born with abnormal heart valves and had heart failure in... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by White Unicorn on 26 June, 2016, 15:55
One's factoid should be revived for those who missed it the first time around too!  It's an important factoid for medical researchers for sure.

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