In a groundbreaking study published in Nature Microbiology, scientists have discovered that all corpses, regardless of their origin, share a unique microbial network. These microbes play an essential role in the natural world by breaking down corpses and becoming part of the “decomposition ecosystem” to help with plant production.
The researchers bury 36 donated corpses in different locations with distinct environmental features. Despite the varying conditions, the study found that all samples taken from the bodies featured the same selection of microbes. The experts also believe that insects could carry these microbes to decomposing human and animal remains.
Dr. Devin Finaughty, not involved in the study, explained that decomposition is the consumption of organic material by other organisms, which is distinct from physical degradation by erosive forces like water. The decomposition system revolves around dead bodies as a resource for food, breeding ground, nursery, and shelter for many organisms.
If you want more news like this sign up for our free indy100 weekly newsletter and join our free WhatsApp channel to have your say in our news democracy. Click on the upvote icon at the top of this page to help raise this article through indy100 rankings.