Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Thursday 05 August |
The Commemoration of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major

Daily WOW: Scientists find signs of life after death

The Daily Catch - published on 06/27/16

Researchers at the University of Washington have found that genes can continue to function for days after death:

The researchers ended up identifying more than 1,000 genes that were still functioning even days after death, but it wasn’t like they were taking a bit longer to sputter out than the rest of the body — they actually increased their activity. In mice, 515 genes were seen kicking into gear, and were functioning at full capacity up to 24 hours after death. In the zebrafish, 548 genes retained their function for four whole days after the animals had died before showing any signs of winding down. […] What’s maybe even stranger than that is the fact that these ‘postmortem’ genes weren’t just any genes, they were the kind of genes that ramp up during emergencies. […] It’s not all beneficial genes, though. The team found that certain genes that promote cancer growth also sparked after death in these animals, prompting the researchers to suggest that in a newly deceased corpse, the body reverts to the cellular conditions of a rapidly developing embryo.

This could help us to better understand why transplant recipients reject organs harvested postmortem, as well as giving insight as to why transplant recipients are at greater risk of developing cancer.

If you would like to read the papers you can find them here and here. These findings have not been reviewed by the scientific community, but if they are fascinating.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
Saint Mary of the Angels
Bret Thoman, OFS
All your sins will be forgiven if you go to a Franciscan church o...
2
Philip Kosloski
Most priests can’t absolve these sins
3
Ignacio María Doñoro
Francisco Veneto
The military chaplain who pretended to be a criminal to rescue a ...
4
CARLO ACUTIS
Violeta Tejera
Carlo Acutis’ first stained glass window in jeans and sneak...
5
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
6
AMERICA'S GOT TALENT
Cerith Gardiner
Nightbirde’s beautiful message as she drops out of TV show
7
Gianmarco Tamberi AND Mutaz Essa Barshim
Cerith Gardiner
This Olympic event captures the true meaning of the Games
See More