Active genes zombie after death
US scientists have discovered a series of so-called “zombie genes” that are active in cells a few days after the death of the body, according to the article published in the electronic library bioRxiv.org.
“For us, this experiment became able to satisfy our scientific curiosity and find out what happens when you die. The main conclusion of the research is that it showed that we can learn a lot about how life works exploring death, “said Peter Noble, from the University of Washington in Seattle, US.
Noble and his colleagues explained that in the human body and in the body of animals there are several genes that are activated only after the death of their “host”, following the action in the cells of mice and zebra fish-euthanized with a lethal dose of poison.
Following the processes in the cells of several dozen dead animals, scientists noticed that the activities of genes and proteins are changed not by chance, as would be expected if the vital processes in the tissues of mice and fish zebras completely after cessation of the activities of the cardiovascular system biological and brain death.
It was revealed that the cells of the two mentioned types of animals there were several tens and hundreds of genes that are activated within hours of death and whose activity remained at a very high level during the five days after the onset of death.
Many of these genes as researchers wrote in the study, they were trying to “revive” the body, protecting cells from inflammation, improving their immune response and suppression of stressful processes. Other “genes of death” a huge surprise to biologists as expressed Noble were identical regions of DNA that are active during embryonic development and participate in the formation of the body and “off” after birth.
The most interesting discovery, according to scientists, was that the cells of dead animals were active those genes that are associated with cancer development. This may explain, namely, why the transplant of organs from recently deceased people sometimes comes to the development of malignant tumors.
According to Noble, the genes and patterns of their activities, which scientists call tanatotranskriptom can be used to accurately calculate the time of his death and to determine the suitability of his organs for transplantation. In addition, monitoring of the activities of genes in degenerating cells, such as biologist thinks will help in discovering the secrets of their mutual action and how it “works” life.