Even after death, an important part of the human body remains alive

What do you think of the idea that, even after death, is a part of our body still pulsing with life? We are not referring to spiritual or metaphysical aspects, but to something very concrete: microbes.

Jennifer DeBruyn, an environmental microbiology researcher at the University of Tennessee, has dedicated her work to exploring this curious fact.

DeBruyn highlighted crucial aspects of his study on the bacteria that reside in the intestinal tract and their influence on the decomposition of the human body after death, in an article published on the website The Conversation.

The human organism houses a vast community of highly important microbes, which perform vital functions for our survival.

This type of interaction is known as symbiosisin which humans provide a stable and nutrientswhile bacteria play essential roles, such as helping to digest food and protecting against infections, among other valuable contributions.

After a person dies, we could assume that these microbes also die. However, the reality is different. These microorganisms adapt and play a new and significant role in the body’s decomposition process.

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Understand what happens to the body after death

Have you ever stopped to think how fascinating the Human Body? When the heart stops working, the blood supply of oxygen to the body stops. Without this element, cells begin a self-digestion process.

The enzymes in these cells are deprived of the usual nutrients, such as carbohydrates and fats, and, consequently, begin to consume components of the cell itself, such as membranes, proteins and DNA.

The byproducts resulting from cell breakdown are a valuable source of food for microbes, which reside primarily in the intestine.

In the absence of the immune system to restrain them, they spread throughout the body, consuming these cells. From then on, what occurs is putrefaction, a process of internal digestion of the body by the bacteria themselves.

In the absence of oxygen in the body’s environment, anaerobic bacteria resort to processes such as fermentation to produce energy. This phenomenon is responsible for the formation of decomposition gases, which result in the characteristic strong odor.

What happens to the microbes?

You microbes that inhabit the human body face a challenge when their host dies, as they need to seek a new environment to survive. In an evolutionary effort to ensure the continuation of the species, these bacteria reproduce on a large scale.

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When the body is buried in the ground, microbes and bodily fluids follow this path, encountering diverse natural bacterial communities. However, many of these bacteria do not easily adapt to the new environment, which has a different chemical composition and temperature compared to the body.

Research led by DeBruyn revealed remarkable findings. Even months after burial, traces of the deceased’s DNA are still detected in the soil. This indicates that the body’s microbes collaborate with natural bacterial communities to break down all tissues.

Furthermore, the study demonstrated that microbes, as they leave the body, play a crucial role in joining other bacterial communities to facilitate recycling of the body. nitrogen on the ground. This is an essential nutrient for plants, shedding light on the role of body decomposition in the renewal of nature.