A colleague and I were discussing the idea of some Government creating a super-virus that could result in zombification (since right now Governments around the world are creating weapons that use biological materials). Now what we came up with is that the “super-virus” would be a cocktail of a few viruses that could enter somatic cells, reproduce, become infectious and also take over the brain cells. I thought a little about this idea, and I had a few conflicting thoughts about it (sorry, bro), but then I was studying biochemistry (class tomorrow) and I came across a line that stated: Many viruses have genomes of RNA instead of DNA. Then I remembered that scientists are now able to change genetic sequences, turning genes “on” or “off”. Then I put 2 and 2 together: scientists have the ability to alter the genetic sequences of certain retroviruses, changing their genotypes and therefore giving them characteristics that could make them so powerful that….. well, you know what happens next.
I think they should stop trying to build bio-weapons, because one day there would be a biohazard that they started, and that they would have no idea how to reverse.
Now, if the Zombie Apocalypse does occur, there is a good chance that the zombies won’t be the only ones planning to wipe us out. It would be such a drastic event that when the highest powers see what’s happening around the world, they may simply see it as an unstoppable plague. And so they think: Why don’t we go to our last resort? We can’t save everyone, and the population is already exposed to it, so they’re going to die anyway. So, the world’s most powerful Governments would tuck their leaders and the people they consider “most important” away safely (much like they depicted in the movie 2012), then they would analyse the situation, look at the extent to which the “disease” has spread, and ultimately, they would drop bombs on us all. Zombies are considered a big threat to mankind, and drastic times call for drastic measures, right? Now this is a very biased hypothesis, I know, but it is sooooo possible. Think about it.
Oh, right, I realize I need a gas mask. How to afford one right now……. yeah…
This thought came to me while I was cleaning my closet. Now the obvious thing is that the entire body is controlled by action of the brain/central nervous system. What people may think is that zombies are brain-dead, as in, their brain is no longer functional, so they are practically walking dead people. That may not be the case, because the only way the body can even work is by command of the brain. This means that the brain of a zombie isn’t dead, it is simply working differently. Now in theory, zombies aren’t as smart as normal people, they act mainly by instinct (without thinking at all), and they also have no sense of coordination or specific speech. This would mean that the part of the brain that controls voluntary action is dysfunctional, and the parts that control thought, speech and other non-instinctive factors are completely denatured. This decreases the capacity of the brain being used from the normal human brain capacity.
Basically, the most functional areas of the zombie brain would be the areas that control the five senses: sight, smell, touch, hearing and most importantly, taste. And because they would run only on instinct, they can be likened to animals. And if we consider them as animals, that would mean they are of a different species to humans completely. Of course, no real assumptions can be made, because zombies can be the new species that would come to replace the human race, being an evolved and superior species.
Well, we’ll find out someday. I’ve got to study the function of nucleic acids right now.
Today in class, we were studying embryology, and at one point the lecturer mentioned that when a woman has a child after the age of 40, it’s very likely that the child would be born with Down syndrome. Now this is a genetic disorder, caused by changes in number of chromosomes. Basically, it’s a mutation, and it causes physical abnormalities. My hypothesis for today is that zombification can be caused by genetic mutation, much like Down syndrome or sickle cell anaemia. What if there is a mutation- a change in the DNA sequence or number of chromosomes- that brings about physical and mental features in persons, later on in their life, which would allow us to classify them as “zombies”? It is a very vague idea, I must admit, because of a few glitches: factors that may cause such a mutation, like radiation or disease, and how these could bring about such a drastic genetic anomaly. Also, most babies born with serious genetic disorders die very early in life (a few days, or weeks maybe), and even if they do survive, in a case like this, zombification would not be contagious.
Ok, ok, I just sat back for a minutes and analysed this, and I came up with something else. Now, scientists have found that genes could be “switched on or off”. We would need an external factor to bring about that change spontaneously, so perhaps radiation of a high degree. there would be that single gene that, when switched on, would cause zombie-like features. Or maybe if a gene was to be switched off. That’s possible, right?
I don’t know, I’m typing these things right off the top of my head. I have a headache right now anyway.
I have a hypothesis zombification could be as a result of a highly infectious virus. This does make a lot of sense, from a biologist’s point of view. Let’s call the virus ZAIDS. With this hypothesis, the virus works just like the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), where it enters the bloodstream, attaches itself to the white blood cells and releases its genetic material into the cell. Basically, the white blood cell would now begin to produce the DNA of HIV, and so more members of the virus are created, with the human cell being the controlled host. Only thing is that for zombies, the brain would have to be taken over, so the ZAIDS virus would enter the brain cells and do the same thing.
Think of it this way: the viruses enslave the brain cells to produce their offspring. Of course, all severe viruses (or all infectious viruses for that matter) have epic physical bodily effects, and because ZAIDS would attack the central nervous system (brain), there would be effects all over the body, you know, cuz the brain controls all. One such effect could be multiple organ dysfunction, since brain signals to the vital organs would be warped or stop completely. Also there would be severe mental disorder, which leads to their wacko behaviour. To me, it seems plausible, but hey, it’s still a hypothesis.
Gonna eat potato chips now. Please, don’t contract ZAIDS.
Ok, yes I said “fun”, but they’re not really that fun, more like freaky.
I’ve been looking through a couple stories that people have brought up about certain persons displaying zombie-like behaviours in the past couple years. I’d heard the stories before, but being the person I am, I overlooked them. But overlook I shall no more. I posted a link to one such story yesterday, so I think that before you read any further, you should go check that out. Really. So, a couple people went all blood-thirsty on their room-mates and neighbours and stuff, biting at their heads and dismembering them, some even going to the extent of eating their vital organs. Now by the general theory of zombies, they would aim for the vital organs of their victims, eating them even when the victim is still alive (no one knows why). So I would say that these cases fall deep into the ‘zombie’ category. Here’s a contrary hypothesis though: mental disorder. People could just have been going crazy, nothing zombie about it. Maybe in their fit of craziness, they were fully convinced that they were zombies and so went about doing the regular zombie stuff. It’s a bit of a vague hypothesis though, but I’ll let you guys think about it.
Another hypothesis is possession. I’m sure that a lot of you out there don’t really believe in demonic possession, but it is very possible, and when a demon does possess a human body, the possibilities of its actions are countless. These can include cannibalism. Besides, the persons’ inability to feel pain (as I’ve read in a few of the stories) could be because the body was in a catatonic state, caused by the possession. Anyway, I’ll leave that open for thought as well. The ultimate and most disturbing explanation there could be is that the dawning of the era of the undead is upon us. But let’s leave it as a last resort.
All in all, those stories freak me out. I’m gonna go study cell division now…
So I was on Facebook yesterday (cuz you know, free time is valuable and all that), and I was browsing through some zombie-related pages. Yeah, I am interested in other people’s opinions on zombies. There were lots of pictures and quotes on depictions of zombies, the usual stuff, and I constantly came across something that was a bit of food for thought. I mean, I’d seen it elsewhere, but this time I sat back and contemplated over it. Scrolling down the pages, there were these pictures and cartoons on zombie humour. Now I really have nothing against zombie humour, but if you think about it, doesn’t it dull the idea of a zombie being something horrifyingly terrible? To me it kind of creates stereotypes for zombies, like how people already believe that all zombies do is eat brains.
As I said, I have nothing against it, but if there are people out there who genuinely believe in the theory of zombies, then we need to expose others to more serious outlooks on the topic. Otherwise, the zombie era will come upon us and it would be harder to get people to believe, decreasing the number of potential survivors. Let’s give the Internet surfers some food for thought. Just saying.