Posts Tagged ‘immunology’

Would we survive a zombie apocalypse?

// September 15th, 2010 // 2 Comments » // Science in the Movies

Brain CakeI have blogged about zombies before on this blog (real zombies and infection modeling), and generally I am pretty concerned about the impending zombie apocalypse. But today I stumbled upon the reasons why we WOULD SURVIVE such an event, and of course I had to share the good news with you. ‘Specially if you’re one of those people who secretly wish for a zombie apocalypse?

This information is from Cracked.com – 7 Scientific Reasons why we would Survive a Zombie Outbreak (Quickly.) I’m not going to rewrite their points. I’m not going to copy their jokes. I wish I had come up with this stuff myself, but I didn’t. So read the article and enjoy.

I disagree with Cracked on a number of points. If we accept that zombies are real, we can hardly impose on them the same limitations of the normal human body. For example, they said zombies would melt in the sun and get frostbite in the cold. It’s much like saying that zombies would have rigor mortise or would continue to decay… they’re not like normal humans because they are reanimated corpses. Hell, if the corspe can keep walking, who’s to say it will degenerate into putrefaction on a hot day?

Ditto the comments on zombies being unable to heal themselves and falling prey to insects or bears. Well, maybe bears, but they must be able to prevent maggot infestations. For us, we have kick ass immune systems that keep our bodies mostly clear of nasties. Maybe zombies have the same. Because they are cold and have less replicating cells they are probably unlikely to catch the flu. Maybe because their cells are dead, they have no B or T cells functioning. But I’m sure that complement, a non-living protein based section of the immune system would still work and is more than capable of emptying a can of whip-ass. Immunologists, correct me if I’m wrong.

However I do think they’re right, that we would pretty easily hole up in city high rises and just pick off zombies by throwing stuff on their heads. I guess it would depend on how long you could live in an upstairs office. Is there a kitchen? Is there still running water and enough food to last a month or so? How long do zombies live? Can you fashion weapons of mass decapitation out of desk chairs? All important questions to be answered.

As for biting being a crappy way to spread infection – Fair call. Sneezing is a much better way to transmit a disease. Carriers are also a great method, I think of them as Trojan Horses. They look innocent enough but they’re germilicious on the inside. People with the flu are most contagious in the first few days of having it, including just before they have serious symptoms. Zombies tend to be obvious, so infecting people on the sly is tricky business.

Although the article made me feel a bit better about the inevitable zombie apocalypse, I’m still continuing to check the radio for any sign of infection before I take my ship into port. One can never be too careful where zombies are concerned.






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