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Frilsham microbiologist explains the science behind the remarkable recycling of your body

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LAST year @newburytoday reported on how lockdown had proved a productive time for Frilsham scientist Michael Wilson.

Having already written 12 scientific books, mainly on microbiology and infectious diseases, and published more than 300 scientific papers, the retired professor of microbiology published three books – the only ones he’s ever written for the general public. Now he has another new book – Life After Death, What Happens to Your Body After You Die?.

“Death is not an end – it’s a new beginning,” says Mike.

Mike Wilson, Life After Death
Mike Wilson, Life After Death
Mike Wilson
Mike Wilson

“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, other animals and plants.

“Cheer up!

“This book shows how you are going to live forever – as components of so many other wonderful creatures.”

Born in South Shields, Mike has lived in Frilsham for the past 25 years. He has worked in Ireland, Spain and Malta, but spent the last 30 years of his working life as professor of microbiology at University College London.

The book describes the science behind the remarkable recycling of your body. It begins with lessons about how your body functions, is a collection of valuable nutrients and is a home to millions of microbes. It 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 supports the continuation of life on our beautiful planet.”

This book describes how all this happens.

Readers of N2 might recognise Mike's name as he works as a volunteer in West Berkshire Museum,
carrying out research into local history – “I love doing this and have had a few articles published in the NWN.”

For more information on Mike's writing, visit https://mikesbooks.uk

To read the N2 October 2021 feature on how Mike used lockdown productively, go to Mythology, medicine and the mysterious in Frilsham author’s lockdown collection https://www.newburytoday.co.uk/lifestyle/myths-microbes-and-mystery-in-frilsham-scientists-lockdown-9219503

Life After Death is available from Amazon or from the publisher, Springer.

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