Zombie Genes Thursday Open Comments

When do we actually die?

Doctors in a Canadian intensive care unit have stumbled on a very strange case – when life support was turned off for four terminal patients, one of them showed persistent brain activity even after they were declared clinically dead.

For more than 10 minutes after doctors confirmed death through a range of observations, including the absence of a pulse and unreactive pupils, the patient appeared to experience the same kind of brain waves (delta wave bursts) we get during deep sleep. And it’s an entirely different phenomenon to the sudden ‘death wave’ that’s been observed in rats following decapitation.

Then there the cases of genes that actually FIRE UP after death!

Led by microbiologist Peter Noble, a team from the University of Washington has been investigating the gene activity in deceased mice and zebrafish, prompted by previous research that identified a handful of genes in human cadavers that were active more than 12 hours after death.

The researchers ended up identifying more than 1,000 genes that were still functioning even days after death, but it wasn’t like they were taking a bit longer to sputter out than the rest of the body – they actually increased their activity.

In mice, 515 genes were seen kicking into gear, and were functioning at full capacity up to 24 hours after death. In the zebrafish, 548 genes retained their function for four whole days after the animals had died before showing any signs of winding down.

Some of these zombie genes are developmental, some of them not so beneficial:

What’s maybe even stranger than that is the fact that these ‘postmortem’ genes weren’t just any genes, they were the kind of genes that ramp up during emergencies.

As Mitch Leslie reports for Science Magazine, we’re talking about tasks like stimulating inflammation, firing up the immune system, and counteracting stress. Some of the genes they identified usually switch on to help form an embryo, and then are never heard of again… except after death, apparently.

“What’s jaw-dropping is that developmental genes are turned on after death,” Noble told Leslie.

It’s not all beneficial genes, though, the team also found that certain genes that promote cancer growth also sparked after death in these animals, prompting the researchers to suggest that in a newly deceased corpse, the body reverts to the cellular conditions of a rapidly developing embryo.

“While transplantation is a life-saving therapy… it also puts recipients at an increased risk for developing cancer, in part because of medications…,” says Eric A. Engels of the US National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Cancer Institute.
The crazy amounts of immune-suppressing drugs transplant recipients have to take to make sure their body doesn’t reject the organ could partly explain the heightened risk of cancer, but active postmortem genes in the organ could also be at play, Noble told Science Magazine.

Interesting. When we die, it seems our body tries to revive itself up to days later, and in the process turns on developmental genes AND cancerous genes as well. That makes sense – they are both involved in rapid reproduction and growth of cells. The impact this could have on transplant patients is profound – treating them for cancer as part of their rejection therapy.

Maybe this is why zombies look the way they do.

Puts “born again Christian” in a whole new light, too.

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73 thoughts on “Zombie Genes Thursday Open Comments

  1. ObamaCare 2.0

    Let’s start from the top. “Repeal” is a meaningless political gesture: New laws supersede or amend existing laws, so if Republicans have a health-care plan, they could just enact it.

    In doing so, the GOP will inevitably keep certain ObamaCare elements. A feature they apparently intend to preserve is the provision that lets children up to age 26 stay on their parents’ plans. Never mind that this is a typically illusory mandated “benefit.” In effect, it’s a benefit customers no longer can opt not to pay for.

  2. I’m still trying to figure out why anyone could possibly want to ride in a bus for eight hours to Biloxi MS…to gamble.

  3. Good foggy morning Hamsters. Fog isn’t quite as thick as at 6 but still hanging around and dripping off everything. Today would seem to be ideal for doing outside stuff before the rains move in tomorrow and Saturday. Not that we’ve had very much drying weather the past couple of days.

    #5 Hamous

    Well, it seems the guy is mad in two ways. Angry as hell over the 2016 election and the preceding ones that begat red states out of blue and made existing red states only deeper red. And he got how the Dems did it to themselves right on the money while totally ignoring that his type of “progressive” philosophy was rejected wholesale by those who voted red and deeper red.

    The other mad is the insane type that keeps on doing the same thing that loses and expecting it to win the next time. That’s the messed up logic side of a messed up thought process. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  4. It’s good to know that there’s at least one other person out there who agrees with my thoughts on Obamacare.

    The 2018 election cycle offers the Reps the best opportunity in history to gain even more control of government, but it looks like they are working overtime to insure that won’t happen. They just continue to paint in pastels rather than in bold strokes. They do not know how to lead but want to merely sit back in their leather chairs, surrounded by mahogany panels, sip their expensive scotch, and carp about the Dems (except for the dynamic duo who would rather do circus tricks in the men’s room).

  5. I just sent my DRE an email telling her I’m resigning after this year. I really need a sabbatical from my ministry. I love teaching, but with everything going on in my personal life, I’m just worn out. I could tell that this year was different. I need some down time, take care of my personal life, get caught up on my bookkeeping, deal with our additional business responsibilities with MIL’s apartments, get going on my personal Bible study, maybe take some classes – at MY pace.

    It just feels right. It’s time.

    She won’t be happy, though. The woman is as disorganized as a yarn store after a herd of cats has gone through it. My guess is that she’ll wait until the last minute, ask some people (most, if not all, will decline), and then beg me to come back. Ain’t happening. I’m tired of dealing with her inability to manage a schedule, as well as dealing with mine.

  6. 5 Hamous

    RE: The New Republic

    Rule #1: Everyone should be very skeptical of anything, especially statistics, published in the Economist, a British rag run by aging 60’s hippie graduates of the London School of Economics and doddering Fabian Socialists unfazed by the century long, disastrous failure of communism and it’s bastard spawn, socialism.

    Rule #2: All the commonly found stats on how much money the 50 states receive is frankly, b*llsh*t.

    Example: Utah has 64.9% of its land owned by the federal government which generates no local or state tax revenue for the state. Every penny sent to run and maintain the vast federal holdings and facilities in Utah are counted as direct revenue to Utah, but is treated by the Left and the MSM (but I repeat myself) as payments to Utah citizens.

    The same applies to Nevada (84.9%), Alaska (61.2%), Idaho (61.6%) and Wyoming (48.1%). New Mexico (34.7%) is a very poor state, but all those billions spent at Los Alamos and Alamogordo for defense and nuclear research and testing for the nation is just assumed to go into the pockets of every New Mexican.

    When virtually every dollar of pension and investment monies from the other 49 states has to pass through New York financial markets and generates income taxes and fees from that state, it is treated as if all that federal revenue originated there.


  7. #15
    I better don’t. Messing with another contributors contributions is an unspoken no-no that could come back to bite me later on.

    Unless it is Texpat’s.

  8. #13 Texpat

    I have not been able to figure out how The Economist has been able to hang onto a sort of respected reputation all these years.

    And as for states getting more back than they send to DC in taxes, well Texas sure doesn’t and it has company.

  9. Just when I got caught up enough to work on backlog…fire in MIL apartment in Bryan.

    Guess who’s going up to take pictures and survey the damage?


  10. MHarper

    Some possibilities: 1 2 3 4 …

    While I appreciate your suggestions you must first consider who is doing the plotting and the historical record associated with my choice of visual helpers in the open comments threads.

  11. My children’s piano teach for the past 5 years past away this morning after fighting various forms of aggressive cancers for the past year. She was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer last March. She always responded well to treatments with virtually no side effects. In fact many times, she would have a treatment in the morning and teach piano in the afternoon.

    During this past year her attitude was superb and outlook on life was grand. I watched as she grew closer to God. She was an amazing women that is not old enough to be my grandmother, but that is in essence how I thought of her. I will miss our conversations on Friday afternoons as my children played. I truly appreciate her perspective and its grounding effect on me in terms of what I should really be focused on.

    Ms. Lana was the millionaire lady I have referred to here before that still lived in the house she and her late husband purchased when they first moved to Sugar Land 40+ years ago. She only charged $20/half hour and she taught seven days a week. She just truly loved teaching.

    Christ our eternal King and God, You have destroyed death and the devil by Your Cross and have restored man to life by Your Resurrection; give rest, Lord, to the soul of Your servant Lana who has fallen asleep, in Your Kingdom, where there is no pain, sorrow or suffering. In Your goodness and love for all men, pardon all the sins she has committed in thought word or deed, for there is no man or woman who lives and sins not, You only are without sin. For You are the Resurrection, the Life, and Repose of Your servant Lana, departed this life, O Christ our God; and to You do we send up glory with Your Eternal Father and Your All-holy, Good and Life-creating Spirit; both now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen

  12. #23 crazy granny
    Seem to recall there are some people over there that are kinda sweet on you.

  13. #26 TexMo

    May the lovely lady rest in peace in Our Lord’s arms. What a beautiful prayer for the departed.

  14. As I understand it, this “reconciliation” gambit they are working on is only Phase 1. It does some immediate things like end tax money to PP and kill all the mandates. It is not the replacement for OCare.

  15. mharper42 says:
    MARCH 9, 2017 AT 1:19 PM
    As I understand it, this “reconciliation” gambit they are working on is only Phase 1. It does some immediate things like end tax money to PP and kill all the mandates. It is not the replacement for OCare.

    But they keep telling us it is.

    And why aren’t they just sending in one of the lebenteen repeal bills the sent to Obama?

  16. And why aren’t they just sending in one of the lebenteen repeal bills the sent to Obama?

    Well, they knew at the time that none of those would skate past Obummer’s veto.

  17. #34

    I too, went down the comment hole for a bit. The people that think the area was scorched to bare dirt cracked me up, “Why are the traffic lights still working?”. “Why are they walking around when people aren’t allowed in for another two months?” “They just allow the radioactive hogs decompose, releasing harmful radiation?”

    Then of course the animal rights nuts.

  18. I read Dan Rather is writing a book about patriotism called ‘What Unites Us.’

    My answer would be not you.

    The End

  19. Here’s the big lie the Reps are trying to use to ram through RINOcare. They are saying they can only do parts of the bill under reconciliation and will have to do the rest later. Ocare was passed through reconciliation, and it can be repealed through reconciliation. Period. The new stuff arises with the replacement part. How about just repeal it and let it sit for a while. The Dems will come along shortly begging for a replacement. The point is, they have no intention of repealing Ocare.

  20. GJT
    Im really surprised.
    So we’re going to go with an elderly guy, or some other mediocre guy, or a rook?

  21. A while ago somebody posted about some new science that showed that warming was cyclical—anybody remember where that is?

  22. The Baylor football team committed more criminal acts than those bikers in Waco did. The police slaughtered all the dead ones, so perhaps they should be included in the indictments. I won’t even drive through Waco any more. No one tried so far, and no one will be – they can’t divulge the evidence in the cases. Corruption as far as the eye can see.

  23. #44

    Im really surprised.
    So we’re going to go with an elderly guy, or some other mediocre guy, or a rook?

    Don’t matter to me, Brock is gone!!
    I’m not one of those fans that loves a move when it’s good, hates it when it doesn’t work out never admitting if I did or didn’t like it at the time. I liked that they took a gamble, I like that they got out of it with little harm.

    Draft a QB, play Savage till that guys ready. No Romo though, he will not make a full season!

  24. Anyone who has ever strapped on an electric bass guitar and tried to play it will understand how incredibly difficult it is to do this and appreciate what a genius this young man is…

    …meet Victor Wooten.

  25. GJT says:
    MARCH 9, 2017 AT 7:10 PM


    Is this not what Trump’s selling or am I not keeping up?


    Its what Trump is selling. The only “negotiating” he’s doing is making sure Conservative don’t get anything they want.

    Paul Ryan is telling Republicans that if they don’t vote for it, Trump is gonna get pizzt.

  26. Its Obamacare Lite.

    It doesn’t get the gummint out of the health insurance business. It doesn’t remove barriers to buying insurance across state lines. It increases Medicaid, increase premiums on old folks, and mandates parents insurance coverage of thier children until age 26.

    But if all you care about is not letting ther Democrats win one, its a pip, and you can cheer on the Negotiator in Chief as he sticks it to them.

  27. What if the plan is to serve up this steaming pile of a plan so that Trump is guaranteed to fail trying to promote its passage?

  28. Guys like Hatch are so addicted to the perks and the power they never want to sit down.

    Much like McShame, Pelozi and the rest.

    It doesn’t matter to them if they can’t remember which glass they put their teeth in the night before.–They just want one more chance to see if they can hit the center of the bowl in the exec washroom or if it just trickles on the floor.–Either way, the CoCommerce will still grease their skid marks.

  29. phil says:
    MARCH 9, 2017 AT 10:03 PM
    Guys like Hatch are so addicted to the perks and the power they never want to sit down.

    And apparently Trump “needs” them in that swamp he’s negotiating draining.

  30. The Trump that was sold to us would have said:

    “You’re fired you worthless geezer.”

    Can’t argue with that. I don’t know why he needs that prehistoric gator either.

    Drain the crusty old critter.

  31. If telling Orinn Hatch that “needs him” in the Senate isn’t going to give you a clue, and that selling that crap sammich of Socialized Medicine doesn’t put the capper on it, nothing will

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