Researchers have developed mammalian “zombie” cells that can actually function more effectively after dying.

By replicating a near-perfect version of a living mammalian cell, University of New Mexico researchers have created cells that not only look identical, but are also more apt to survive adverse conditions than the living organisms they were modeled after.

Sandia National Laboratories researchers, along with the University of New Mexico, created the cells by placing free-floating mammal cells into a petri dish and coating them with a silicic acid solution. For reasons that the study says are still “partially unclear,” the silicic acid enters and embalms every organelle in the cells.