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The afterlife of genes?

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Yes, it sounds weird. By the way, sell your stock in Dawkins’ selfish gene. Anyway, listen: From Science Alert:

Hundreds of genes spring to life up to 4 days after death, scientists find

A pair of papers published this week discuss evidence that certain parts of the body are still firing even days the rest have stopped functioning, and it could change the way we think about organ transplants and time of death.

Led by microbiologist Peter Noble, a team from the University of Washington has been investigating the gene activity in deceased mice and zebrafish, prompted by previous research that identified a handful of genes in human cadavers that were active more than 12 hours 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.More.

Friends suggest that further research could show that there is a loss of control of gene expression as decomposition sets in. Another possibility is that the expression signals that the multicellular body is now available as a general resource, decomposed by bacteria. Thoughts?

See also: Second layer of information in DNA?

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One Reply to “The afterlife of genes?

  1. 1
    Dionisio says:

    News,

    At the end of the first line the link doesn’t work for me:

    http://www.sciencealert.com/hu.....fter-death

    You may want to correct it?

    The link “More” at the end of the last line in the quoted text does work fine:

    http://www.sciencealert.com/hu.....fter-death

    Please, do not post this message. It’s only FYI.

    Thank you.

    Have a good weekend.

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