General, Research, Technology

What to do with the body after death?

Are you thinking of death? No matter how unpleasant this question may seem to you, today death and everything connected with it is an extremely urgent topic of scientific research. However, more than other scientists care about the disposal of human bodies after death. The fact is that embalming requires a rather large amount of toxic liquid, and due to cremation, a large amount of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. As a result, habitual funerals harm the environment. But can this be changed? The results of the study, which was presented during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Development of Science on February 16, indicate that yes.

This is how the bodies are disposed of at Recompose

What could be a funeral in the future?

The authors of the study believe thatComposting, also called natural organic recovery, is an environmentally friendly way to dispose of human remains. Scientists came to this conclusion after a series of experiments with six bodies, which were decomposed among wood chips and other organic material. According to Sciencenews, environmental microbiologist Jennifer Debrune of the University of Tennessee, who did not participate in the study, considers such a “burial” an incredible option.

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It should be noted that in 2019, Washingtonbecame the first state to legalize natural organic reduction as a funeral option. Recently it became known that the company in Seattle, called Recompose, will soon begin to accept bodies for composting. And there are all reasons for this. So, during the experiment, six bodies were placed in vessels with plant material, which regularly rotated to provide optimal conditions for decomposition. The result was not long in coming - after about four to seven weeks, the microbes turned bodies into skeletons.

Pictured is Katrina Spade from Recompose. She has in her hands compost from a cow (bag on the left) and the materials used in the process - straw, wood chips and alfalfa (bag on the right)

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However, the most amazing thing in the whole storylies in the fact that we already knew that carcasses of animals long ago turned into fertile soil in this way. Just like in the cartoon “The Lion King”, when Mufas’s father told his son Simba about the circle of life and how everything in our world is interconnected. For this reason, the idea of ​​applying a similar method to human remains is quite reasonable. In addition, this method is able to destroy dangerous pathogens - the heat released by microbes during the decomposition process is an additional advantage of the new “funeral”. Researchers call this process “automatic sterilization.” However, prions - a special class of infectious agents whose proteins have an abnormal structure - do not die when exposed to high temperatures. Recall that it was the prions that caused the zombie deer disease in Canada and the United States, and also cause mad cow disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Look for more articles about what happens to the human body after death on our channel in Yandex.Zen

However, talk about what a new way of recyclingthe remains will not be widespread. As American media reporters write, lawmakers in other states are now considering this method. If this method will be widely used in the United States, perhaps in the future other countries will take it for themselves.