This editorial Research Topic examines new perspectives on life and death and applications in forensic science.
This Research Topic evaluates understanding of the structure and function of necrobiome communities associated with the postmortem decomposition of vertebrate carrion. Mammalian hosts and their microbiomes undergo a process of ecological reciprocal adaptation. Changes in decomposition and postmortem perturbations may influence differentially dispersed populations of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes, resulting in dynamic changes or succession of postmortem microbial communities that also mediate how other scavengers (e.g., insects) detect and use the resource. Although there are several factors that affect this process, there is abundant evidence that understanding these communities can provide data of forensic importance. Some of that evidence lies within the papers that represent this special topic where the focus is both the basic understanding and value of using postmortem necrobiome and thanatomicrobiome communities in forensics. Under this Research Topic, issues addressed are perspectives of state of the art and its future, postmortem human microbiome, method development and cross-disciplinary work, and the role of animal models. (publisher abstract modified)