Tuesday, June 21, 2016

They're Just Splicing

We may die, but our genes live on:
New evidence in animals suggests that many genes go on working for up to 48 hours after the lights have gone out.

This hustle and bustle has been seen in mice and zebrafish, but there are hints that genes are also active for some time in deceased humans. This discovery could have implications for the safety of organ transplants as well as help pathologists pinpoint a time of death more precisely, perhaps to within minutes of the event.

Peter Noble and Alex Pozhitkov at the University of Washington, Seattle, and their colleagues investigated the activity of genes in the organs of mice and zebrafish immediately after death. They did this by measuring the amount of messenger RNA present. An increase in this mRNA – which genes use to tell cells to make products such as proteins – indicates that genes are more active.
Genes with nothing else to do?

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There Goes The Sun

Here comes the eclipse: