Science is great and sometimes science discovers things, noone really expected. Case in point: Every single one of us carries some „zombie genes“. Yes, you read that correctly, and they want to do a few things after you passed on.
Welcome to the next episode of minutes at the edge Your body spawns a Zombie Baby. Yes it is more or less like I just said.
Background: Scientists from the University of Washington have conducted a study, first on dead zebrafish and later on dead mice where they found out that some genes in the zebrafish and in the mice spring into action only after the animals have died and some of those genes actually reach peak performance between 12 and 24 hours after death.
To be exact, it was 515 genes in the mice and in zebrafish it was 540 genes that retain some form of function during the entire time. Some obviously ceased functioning earlier but some reached peak performance only after 3 days. What is especially interesting is that some of those genes are dormant during most of the life cycle of the animals and also in humans because they’ve been conducting those studies on human corpses, too, and found out that humans have these for lack of a better word zombie genes because they are only active after you are already dead yet and some of those things are actually the ones that are deployed or rather, active, during the embryo stages of your development. The current working theory is that the body tries to regenerate itself during your death or just after death. Obviously the body fails but what is also interesting is that some of the genes that are active are not really benign. They are the ones that are responsible for certain types of cancer which in turn explains why your risk of certain cancers increase once you receive a donor organ, because in the donor organ, since the donor organ comes from a corpse, some of those genes have already been activated and then those genes are active in your body and you are still alive and you get cancer. So cancer , which is basically iuncontrolled cell growth, which might in this case of zombie genes also be an attempt to rapidly regenerate for the body tries to rapidly regenerate itself, very interesting.
To put it really bluntly and drastically, every one of us turns into a non-functional zombie after death because of the genes that are only active after you die. Yeah sounds weird but this is what the research says, so far. Of course I’m going to link the article in the block so you can check it out yourself. Hooray for science!
There is so much we find out right now, have found out for the past decades, that no one would have thought of inearlier days. Sometimes life really is weirder than fiction. There is zombie embryo growing inside you or your body tries to grow a zombie embryo after your death in an in an attempt to clone yourself or regenerat yourself. This obviously is an excellent plot device for some zombie horror movie or a novel or something but tlet’s stick to the science. Check out the article it, is a really fascinating and quite frightening read. On the other hand, reasearch into that direction might lead to medication or some form of therapy that might help receivers of donor organs not run the risk of developing cancer. The other implications, you can think of yourself.
Here are some links you might want to check out:
Background music of the podcast © Jukedeck, header image © Tomascastelazo CC BY-SA 2.5.