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Human decomposition: study maps internal bacteria

We may not be so different from zombies when we die, after all. A new study analyzing bacterial communities involved in the decomposition of corpses illustrates how a cadaver becomes a living, thriving ecosystem for microorganisms.

The study, published recently in PLOS ONE, reveals that the type of bacteria embroiled in human decomposition can change over time.

Researchers from Sam Houston State University and Baylor College of Medicine - both in Texas - say that until now, little has been known about the bacterial diversity involved in breaking down a corpse.

While previous studies have been limited to a traditional approach of culturing bacteria, the team says that most of these microorganisms in the human body cannot be cultured in a lab experiment.
 
 

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