Research shows that some genes "come to life" in the human brain after death

New research from IllinoisUniversity of Chicago, proved that in the first hours after death, some cells of the human brain continue to function and even grow to a certain size. The results of research on the so-called "zombie genes" can not only refute myths about the revival of the "living dead", but also help in the creation of drugs for diseases such as autism, schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease.

The study was conducted under the direction of Dr.Jeffrey Lobe is director of UI NeuroRepository, a human brain tissue bank from patients with neurological disorders, with a wealth of material for studying brain cells from volunteers donating tissue for research after surgery or after death.

During the study, it was found that 80%analyzed genes remained relatively stable for 24 hours. The genes responsible for memory, thinking and locomotion were rapidly degraded. However, the third group, defined as "zombie genes", on the contrary, increased their activity, the peak of which falls on the 12th hour after death. It was found that it is these genes of the glial cell group that "work" in the body's immune system and increase their activity in case of injuries in the brain.

According to the research results, Dr. Lobe noted,that the brain tissue research program should take into account the classification of genes according to the degree of their degradation after a person's death. This approach will reveal new processes occurring in genetic and cellular activity and better understand the results of postmortem brain research.

Source: uic