New research published in Nature Microbiology has revealed that all corpses share similarities when it comes to microbial networks, regardless of their origin. Dead bodies contain bacteria and fungal decomposers that are rare in the rest of the world. These microbes play a vital role in the natural world by breaking down corpses and becoming part of the “decomposition ecosystem” to help produce plants.
The study involved burying 36 donated cadavers in different locations with varying environmental characteristics. Despite the differences, the researchers found that all samples taken from the body had the same selection of microbes. Insects could also transfer these microbes to decaying human and animal remains, according to experts.
Dr. Devin Finaughty, who was not involved in the study, explained that decomposition is a process where organic material is consumed by other organisms and differs from physical degradation caused by erosive forces such as water. The decomposition system revolves around dead bodies as a food source, breeding ground, nursery and shelter for many organisms.
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