Investigators meet at one of three crime scenes where seven people were found dead, in north Edmonton
Investigators meet at one of three crime scenes where seven people were found dead, in north Edmonton, Alberta, December 30, 2014. Nine people have been killed in three related incidents in Edmonton in what police in the western Canadian city said was likely an act of domestic violence and the worst mass murder in nearly 60 years. Eight people were killed, seven in one location and the eighth in another, police said, and a man linked to the crimes committed suicide in a nearby town. REUTERS/Dan Riedlhuber

The human body, including the brain, has tiny biological clocks which stop when life ends, leaving a kind of timestamp, suggests a new research. Just like the human body generally knows the time of the day, without necessarily looking at the clock, the brain’s internal clock also knows the time of death.

During a study of the brain’s internal clock, researchers at the University of Michigan found that all biological activity stops at the moment of death. The timestamp thus left could reveal the hour of death of a person, reports the New York Times.

The research team has further found that people dying in the morning have a different mix of active genes and proteins in their brain cells compared with people who die in the evening or at night. This might make it possible to determine the precise hour of death simply by looking at the brain's chemistry, reports the Smithsonian.

This discovery seems to prove helpful in not just ascertaining the time of death but could also enable scientists to treat various psychiatric illnesses, such as dementia, bipolar disease, depression and sleep disorders, reports the Mother Nature Network.

“Sleep and activity cycles are a very big part of psychiatric illnesses,” says Huda Akil, a neuroscientist at the University of Michigan. The research could also be of immense benefit to forensic scientists.

During the study, the researchers searched through the brains of 55 people who had died suddenly, for instance in a car crash, and whose brains had been preserved at the University of California, Irvine. They found more than 100 genes that step up their activity during certain times of the day.

Encouraged by these findings, a team of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine also examined 146 brains and found what almost seemed like a snapshot of where the brain was at the moment of death. Their findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In fact, the research suggests that most modern ailments are the result of a mismatch between the personal schedule and the natural rhythm of the body’s biological cycles. This mismatch could also possibly be a factor contributing to neurodegenerative diseases.