Genes Continue to Function After Death

Scientist have discovered that some genes continue to function for a period after death, in fact some genes actually get more active. They believe they can use this discovery to determine a more accurate time of a person’s death.

Human genes and their activity are defined by two types of code, DNA and RNA. DNA is the set of instructions, RNA is used to read the instructions and based on the instructions the RNA initiates actions or bodily functions. Scientist discovered that the RNA continues its work even though the human has died.

The lead researcher Roderic Guigo explained

“There is a reaction by the cells to the death of the individual. We see some pathways, some genes, that are activated and this means that sometime after death there is still some activity at the level of transcription. I would guess that one of the major changes is due to the cessation of flow of blood, therefore I would say probably the main environmental change is hypoxia, the lack of oxygen, but I don’t have the proof for this”.

The following photo is a drawing of a cell splitting, the RNA is responsible for duplicating the DNA strand in the original cell. The copied DNA chain is transferred into the new created cell. This cell splitting is called mitosis.

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