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Life After Death: What Happens to Your Body After You Die?

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  • A captivating look at the science of death and decay

  • Views the human body as an important source of nutrients for other creatures on our planet

  • Explores the rich microscopic life present within and without the human body during life and after death

Part of the book series: Springer Praxis Books (PRAXIS)

Part of the book sub series: Popular Science (POPS)

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  • ISBN: 978-3-030-83036-6
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Table of contents (7 chapters)

About this book

Death is not an end – it’s a new beginning. After death, all of the molecules that came together to form the living “you” become nutrients for millions of creatures, large and small. Your body becomes the hub of a complex ecosystem of microbes, insects, worms, plants and more. Cheer up! This book shows how you are going to live forever – as components of so many other wonderful creatures. It describes the science behind the remarkable recycling of your body. We begin with lessons about how your body functions, is a collection of valuable nutrients and is a home to millions of microbes. The book goes on to describe the various stages the body passes through as it decomposes following death. The microbes and insects that make use of your tissues are then introduced. Finally, you will learn about the enduring effects that your body will have on the wider biosphere. We are rich in valuable resources that will end up feeding an immense number and variety of other creatures. Inevitably, your body will support the continuation of life on our beautiful planet – this book describes how all this happens.

Keywords

  • microbial ecology
  • necrobiome
  • symbiosis
  • mammalian partner
  • decomposition
  • indigenous microbiota
  • forensic medicine
  • microbial signature
  • macroscopic
  • microscopic
  • scavengers
  • human body
  • corpse
  • cadaver
  • environmental impact
  • circle of life
  • body farm

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emeritus Professor of Microbiology, University College London, London, UK

    Michael Wilson

About the author

Michael Wilson is Emeritus Professor of Microbiology at University College London where he was based for more than 30 years. He has published 337 scientific papers, holds 13 patents and in 1991 was awarded the “Inventor of the Year” prize by Toshiba for inventing a device that produces pure drinking water from contaminated water sources. In 2011 he was appointed Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the President of France for his services to French culture. He has produced a number of exhibitions for the general public about his research and was Senior Scientific Advisor to the Eden Project for their “Invisible you; the human microbiome” exhibition which opened in 2015.  He has published 14 books, mainly in the fields of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. His most recent books are: “Into the labyrinth; in search of Daidalos” (2020) and “Close encounters of the microbial kind; everything you need to know about common infections” (2021).

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook
USD 19.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-83036-6
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD 24.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)