ⓘ Thanatotranscriptome


ⓘ Thanatotranscriptome

The thanatotranscriptome denotes all RNA from the transcript of the part of genome still active or awakened in the internal organs of a dead body for 24 to 48 hours following the time of the death.


1. Thanatotranscriptomic Analysis

It can from a serology postmortem characterize transcriptome of tissue particular cell type, or compare the transcriptomes between various conditions experimental.

It can be complementary to the analysis of thanatomicrobiome to better understand the process of transformation of the necromass in the days following the death;.

Characterization and quantification of the transcriptome in a tissue "dead" given and conditions data can identify genes assets, to determine the regulatory mechanisms of Gene Expression and set networks of gene expression.


2. Analytical Techniques

The techniques commonly used for simultaneously measuring the concentration of a large number of different types of mRNA include Microarray, high throughput sequencing said RNA RNA-Seq.


3. Scientific History

Clues to the existence of a post-mortem transcriptome existed at least since the beginning of the 21st century, but in scientific publications the word thanatotranscriptome seems to have been first proposed by Javan et al. in 2015;

At the University of Washington, Peter Noble, Alex Pozhitkov and their colleagues recently 2016 confirmed that up to 2 days 48 hours after the death of mice or zebrafish, many genes still function in their body. changes in the quantities of mRNA in the body prove that hundreds of genes with very different functions awoke just after death 548 genes have thus awakened after the death of zebrafish and 515 in the laboratory mice. Among the genes which thus awake, there are genes involved in the development of the organism, including genes that are normally activated only in utero or in ovo in the egg during fetal development.


4. Applications

This information could possibly in the future lead to:

  • Construct a definition both more accurate and nuanced phenomenon of "death";
  • Whether there is the same in humans, because previous studies have already shown that in people dead by trauma, heart attack or suffocation, various genes including those involved in cardiac muscle contraction and wound healing, were active more than 12 hours after death. Similarly for gene dental pulp. Some authors in 2015 introduced the concept of "thanatotranscriptome apoptotic"
  • More precise time of death by the forensic.
  • Improving the quality of organ transplants. Indeed, the fact that cancer-related genes are activated after the death in animals is information that leads us to consider the time of organ transplantation to reduce the incidence of cancer in people receiving these transplants. Persons to which was grafted a new liver actually more cancers after treatment than would be statistically normal. This phenomenon was attributed to the diet imposed on them, or immunosuppressive drugs they receive for their body does not reject the transplant. One hypothesis yet to be verified is that the cancer genes activated in the liver of the donor may also play a role.
  • Test another hypothesis is that after death, a rapid decrease of the "suppressor genes" activity which normally inhibit the activation of other genes, including those no longer needed after the fetal stage would allow dormant genes wake up, at least for this short period of time.
  • Understand cancer. It was found that among the genes reactivated soon after death, some of the genes involved in the process of cancerous reactivated with a peak of activity reaches about 24 hours after death ; detailed understanding of this phenomenon could shed light on the phenomenon of carcinogenesis and maybe bring some new elements to better combat.
  • Illuminate the phenomenon of cell death of apoptosis or the death of a body, and in particular the phenomenon of ischemia myocardial including and its process healing or resilience, for perhaps then to facilitate them. This gene revival also means remaining in the cells for up to 48 hours after the death of these animals enough energy for activating the cellular machinery. At least part of these genes appear to be genes involved in physiological healing, healing or "auto-resuscitation".
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