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New research has provided insight into the organisms that consume human remains after death.
Researchers have emphasized the disturbing processes that occur in the human body after death, where bacteria and insects work together to aid in decomposition.
Scientists now theorize that these tiny organisms could revolutionize the field of forensics and potentially aid in solving homicide cases.
Researchers from Colorado State University (CSU) in the United States studied 36 human corpses to gain insight into how the environment can affect the process of decomposition after death.
Dead bodies were exposed to various temperatures, places and seasons for a period of 21 days, and information was gathered from their skin and the surrounding soil.
According to CSU Associate Professor Jessica Metcalf, a consistent group of approximately 20 specialized microbes consistently appeared to perform their tasks reliably, regardless of any environmental factors. This phenomenon was likened to a well-functioning clock.
These powerful microbes were present on every single body examined, indicating that they could potentially serve as a way to determine the time of death for an individual.
According to Dr. Metcalf, it is fascinating that there are microorganisms that consistently appear to break down animal corpses.
“We observe that identical microorganisms appear at consistent times during the process of decomposition, regardless of any external factors that may be considered.”
Samples of skin and soil were collected in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the “microbial community” found at each site where a corpse was located.
Dr Metcalf and her team focused on identifying the types of microbes present, determining their origins, tracking changes over time, and studying their functions.
The research also suggested that the microorganisms aiding in decomposition originate from external sources rather than within the body.
Certain theories about the decomposition of flesh speculate that the bacteria responsible for breaking it down are present in our internal organs and begin their process after our passing.
Now, they have the option to catch a ride with their friends.
According to Dr Metcalf, it appears that the insects are introducing the microbes.