- Certain genes have been found to function even 48 hours after death
- This revelation could be an important discovery for organ transplantation.
- This study on mice and zebrafish can open doorways to better forensics.
Dr. Noble says about taking up research on the dead "The headline of this study is that we can probably get a lot of information about life by studying death."
‘Genes active after death will help determine time of death to the minute.’
AdvertisementThe current research is a continuation of research on the dead that Dr. Noble took up a couple of years ago when the type and population of microbes on organs after death was his primary aim. "It's an experiment of curiosity to see what happens when you die," Noble says as his current research focuses on genes that are active after death.
The discovery of active genes from certain organs in the human cadaver have been reported before, but Dr. Noble's research takes it a step higher as he analyzed about 1000 genes from the brain and liver samples of mice and zebrafish.
Gene activity was detected by quantifying the level of mRNA that was secreted. The mRNA levels were recorded soon after death and for a few days after death.
The levels were recorded,
- for 4 days after death for zebrafish
- for 2 days after death for mice.
The genes that have been found to get activated include genes that are present during fetal development and are subsequently silenced after birth and genes that lead to the development of cancer.
The study conducted on dead mice and zebrafish throws open insights into the functioning of certain organ systems and will benefit key areas in medical research.
Benefits Expected from This Research
- Organ Transplants:
Gene activation after death could be a last attempt by the body to revive, a natural quest for survival and which could aid medical researchers to unearth certain mysteries surrounding the human body.
- 'Undead' genes come
alive days after life ends
Genes Don't Turn On Until After You Die