Researchers find commonality among all deceased individuals

Decomposition Unites the Dead: Study Finds Common Microbes in All Corpses

New research published in Nature Microbiology has revealed that all corpses share a surprising level of similarity, regardless of their origin. This is due to the presence of rare bacteria and fungal decomposers found in human bodies that play an essential role in the natural world by breaking down corpses and becoming part of the “decomposition ecosystem.”

To conduct the study, 36 donated corpses were buried in different locations with distinct environmental features. Despite the varying conditions, the researchers found that all samples taken from the bodies featured a similar selection of microbes. The experts also believe that insects could carry these microbes to decomposing human and animal remains.

Dr. Devin Finaughty, who was not involved in the study, explained that decomposition is a process where organic material is consumed by other organisms, which is different from physical degradation caused 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.

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