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Humans alter Earth’s chemistry from beyond the grave

PRAGUE: It's not only in life that humans leave their mark on Nature. In death, our decomposing corpses alter the chemistry of precious soil, scientists warned on Wednesday. Whether our bodies are buried or cremated, they leach iron, zinc, sulphur, calcium and phosphorus into ground that may later be used as farms, forests or parks. They are essential nutrients, but human funerary practices mean they are being concentrated in cemeteries instead of being dispersed evenly throughout nature, according to new research.…