What new studies say about the microbiome and the role it plays when a person dies.
According to the latest research, which has recently become public, there is a part of the human body that remains alive, even after death. In fact, it plays an important role in the “recycling” of the body. As Science Advances reports, when someone dies, their body undergoes a series of physical and chemical changes that lead to decomposition. Trillions of microorganisms, known as the microbiome, play an important role in this process.
Essentially, they are bacteria, fungi and viruses, which help humans in functions such as digestion and metabolism. The microbiome is concentrated in the gut, where it forms a complex ecosystem that interacts with the food we eat and the cells that exist in our gut.
When a person dies, the microbiome adapts to the dead body and begins to “eat” it from the inside out. This is how the human body rots. Rotting produces gases, such as hydrogen sulphide, methane and ammonia, which cause the characteristic smell of decay.
The microbiome is not only a vital part of the human body while it is alive, but also a vital part of its legacy after death, as it helps recycle the corpse’s organic matter and nutrients into new life forms.
The study’s findings suggest that microbes likely play a role in this recycling process by converting large nitrogen-containing molecules such as proteins and nucleic acids into ammonia. Nitrifying microbes in the soil can then convert the ammonia to nitrate.
Also, the microbiome carries information about a person’s health, diet, lifestyle, and genetics that can be used for forensic or scientific purposes.
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