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Tuesday, April 16th 2024
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12,000-Year-Old Preserved Human Brains Puzzle Scientists, Challenge Decay Assumptions

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Contrary to the conventional belief that brains deteriorate rapidly after death, scientists have made a remarkable discovery. 

They have identified more than 4,400 human brains preserved in astonishing condition in the archaeological record, some dating back as far as 12,000 years. 

This finding challenges the widely held notion regarding the rapid decomposition of brains post-mortem.

The research, led by Oxford University’s Alexandra Morton-Hayward, revealed these brains through a global survey of archaeological records.

Previously thought to be extremely rare finds, the preserved brains were present in environments ranging from Egyptian deserts to European peat bogs.

The findings from this research have been published in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

The study contradicts the assumption that brains are among the first organs to decay. Experts believe these ancient specimens hold immense potential for revealing details about our evolutionary history and past diseases.

“The archive compiled here represents the first step towards a comprehensive, systematic investigation of ancient brains beyond approximately 12,000 years before the present and is essential to maximising the molecular and morphological information they yield as the most metabolically active organ in the body and among the most commonly preserved soft tissues,” the authors write in their paper.

“Ancient brains may provide new and unique paleobiological insights, helping us to better understand the history of major neurological disorders, ancient cognition and behaviour, and the evolution of nervous tissues and their functions.”

The discovery is significant because soft tissue preservation is uncommon under natural conditions. The brains offer a chance to analyse ancient biomolecules and gain insights into past lives and deaths.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)