A new study published in Nature Microbiology has revealed that all corpses share common microbial networks, regardless of their origin. The research involved burying 36 donated corpses in different locations with varying environmental features. Despite the differing conditions, the scientists found that all the samples taken from the bodies shared a similar selection of microbes.
The study highlights the importance of microbes in breaking down corpses and contributing to the “decomposition ecosystem,” which helps with plant production. Insects are believed to carry these microbes to decomposing human and animal remains, making them an essential part of this natural process.
Dr. Devin Finaughty, not involved in the study, explained that decomposition is a process of consumption of organic material by other organisms, which is different from physical degradation by erosive forces like water. The decomposition system revolves around the dead body as a resource for food, breeding ground, nursery, and shelter for many organisms.
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