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When somebody dies, which are the last surviving cells of his/her body? Those of hair, nails, or some other obscure but resilient cells?

Shedding light on why and how they are so vital might boost our knowledge of survival pathways.

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  • $\begingroup$ Related question: biology.stackexchange.com/questions/7548/… $\endgroup$ – Roland May 2 '16 at 7:08
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    $\begingroup$ When you say 'vital' do you mean - 'hard to kill'? The most 'vital' cells in the usual sense of the word - 'important for life' - are probably heart muscle, nerve cells etc, and these are exactly the ones that will die first because they use so much energy. $\endgroup$ – Dermot Harnett May 2 '16 at 13:48
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    $\begingroup$ Neither hair nor nails are made from living cells. Also, which individual cells die last has nothing to do with how 'vital' they are. $\endgroup$ – Slawomir Andrzej Dziemborowicz Jul 31 '16 at 19:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Slawomir Andrzej Dziemborowicz I understand that several factor may play a role in determining how much a cell lasts after being its body dead (eg blood flow, oxygen reserves), but anyway it is conceivable that those cells lasting longer could have more protective mechanisms to overcome lack of oxygen and accumulation of toxic molecules. $\endgroup$ – Joe_74 Aug 1 '16 at 9:57

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