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So in my invertebrate class a while ago we were discussing brain parasites and I couldn't help thinking about 28 days later. Maybe it's because I watched a fringe episode a few weeks before with a brain parasite infecting humans. Some parasites will affect the behavior of their secondary hosts to make their way over to a target host for example; toxoplasm will affect mice to be attracted to cat pee which they obviously wouldn't be otherwise and therefore be meals for the cats... we talked about a few others. Now I can't claim that I have the greatest background in parasites but what if... A brain parasite somehow evolved to be transmitted through blood and saliva through humans? Is it just me or would we have a zombie(like) pandemic at hand? lol

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So in my invertebrate class a while ago we were discussing brain parasites and I couldn't help thinking about 28 days later. Maybe it's because I watched a fringe episode a few weeks before with a brain parasite infecting humans. Some parasites will affect the behavior of their secondary hosts to make their way over to a target host for example; toxoplasm will affect mice to be attracted to cat pee which they obviously wouldn't be otherwise and therefore be meals for the cats... we talked about a few others. Now I can't claim that I have the greatest background in parasites but what if... A brain parasite somehow evolved to be transmitted through blood and saliva through humans? Is it just me or would we have a zombie(like) pandemic at hand? lol

 

Parasites that turn their hosts onto "zombie" like automatons are rare but not unheard of. I'm not aware of any parasites that spread through from host to same species host via behavior changes and make the host attack another host.

 

Usually the parasite makes the host vulnerable to attack from a secondary host like a snail that it's behavior is changed to make it more likely to be eaten by a bird so that parasite can continue to the next host in the chain.

 

Something like rabies comes closest to doing what you are talking about but contrary to popular belief rabies victims do not go around looking for more victims to bite. Even in dogs the rabies just makes the dog irritable and more likely to bite they do not roam looking to bite like zombies do in zombie movies.

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I know there isn't any known parasites with this affect on their hosts, and for a parasite to have such radical affects on someone it would probubly have to be tampered with somehow...I was mostly joking though lol.

 

Oh but even if the zombie was easy to kill and didnt bite effectively, in the first stages that noone knows about it... noone would be expecting to be randomly bit by someone. Even though theyde be easy to kill... they would still be affective at speading the contagon around and then as the numbers grew... welll not so managable then? lol


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And by radical I mean mowing down on target hosts... not just swinging around on grass(ants) lol

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Also, such zombies would be really easy to kill. Humans aren't very good biters. Any realistic zombie problem could be dealt with easily with baseball bats.

 

Ah but in 28 Days Later the zombies spread the infection by projectile vomiting blood. You want to get near THAT with a baseball bat, be my guest - it'll buy the rest of us a bit more escape time >:D

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Would a brain parasite necessarily create a classic "automaton" zombie, one that seemed to be fighting against control with jerky, slow movement and a vague but determined desire to feast on brains? Or would the parasite work at suppressing inhibitions or heightening desires? The latter would make a faster, more human zombie but not all humans would have the same inhibitions or desires. What would a brain parasite heighten or suppress to avoid the problems with trying to wrest complete control?

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I looked at a few articles about 'zombie powder'... that's pretty disturbing that people would apply this... since on top of tetrodotoxin, there's human remains in it! Though the only zombie symptom this produces is paralyses for a few days, so when you recover you seem to be revived from the dead... no flesh-eating symptoms or anything lol. No worries for spreading either...

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Well, I think toxoplasmosis is one of the best known parasites with effects on human behavior (that I am aware of).

 

Effects of toxoplasma on human behavior.

 

Flegr J.

Schizophr Bull. 2007 May;33(3):757-60. Epub 2007 Jan 11.

Abstract:

Although latent infection with Toxoplasma gondii is among the most prevalent of human infections, it has been generally assumed that, except for congenital transmission, it is asymptomatic. The demonstration that latent Toxoplasma infections can alter behavior in rodents has led to a reconsideration of this assumption. When infected human adults were compared with uninfected adults on personality questionnaires or on a panel of behavioral tests, several differences were found. Other studies have demonstrated reduced psychomotor performance in affected individuals. Possible mechanisms by which T. gondii may affect human behavior include its effect on dopamine and on testosterone.

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Also, such zombies would be really easy to kill. Humans aren't very good biters. Any realistic zombie problem could be dealt with easily with baseball bats.

 

I disagree, if there was any large quantity of slow moving zombies, a baseball bat would be to slow. i would prefer 50 cal machine gun mounted on a Humvee or a Gatling gun, mounted on a Humvee or Helo.

 

If we are talking about zombies that can charge or can move with a degree of quickness, i would assume a hand held machine gun/flamethrower and grenades would work slightly better.

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I disagree, if there was any large quantity of slow moving zombies, a baseball bat would be to slow.

 

No, it's one zombie at a time at the start. Could the average person kill 1 or more zombies before being zombified? Even with a zombie mob? If so, then there is no zombie mob -- they get wiped out faster than they get created.

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No, it's one zombie at a time at the start. Could the average person kill 1 or more zombies before being zombified? Even with a zombie mob? If so, then there is no zombie mob -- they get wiped out faster than they get created.

 

i suppose if its 1v1 or rather 1 v 1...1....1...1...1 you would be able to kill the mob before it starts. however you would eventually get tired and be zombified.

 

However if it is 10 V 1000 and each person gets tired after killing 10 then you have a bit of a problem with your slow heavy and unwieldy bat.


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So

 

Nice frog, is that a dart frog? probably from south America?

or is it a tree frog?

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28 days later was about the rage virus correct??? i was born in 87 so when i hear zombies i think resident evil! id say a parasite that numbs peoples sense of touch and makes them angry is more realistic then a walking corpse...also...whats the name of that m night shamylan movie with those suicidal people?? ive always wanted to see that...

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The Happening.

 

Don't bother. It starts with potential, then basically flushes the potential down the toilet and goes with rubbish instead.

Oh great! Where were you when I ordered it from the library last night? Probably lounging abed in your stupid UK time zone....
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  • 1 month later...

What if a zombie literally was the living dead. For example a zombie infects a normal person by biting them. The virus or parasite then somehow bypasses the blood brain barrier and gets control of the persons central nervous system. The person then enters a highly aggressive state and has lost all control of motor abilities and higher thought aswell as complete failiure of internal organs. The person's body would then start to decay with an absense of an immune system but the parisite would remain in control by sending electrical impluses to the muscles so the zombie would continue to move so that it could infect people. The cycle then repeats. Is this scientifically plausible?

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no, it isn't scientifically plausible. infact you can even demonstrate how implausible it is without dying OR becoming a zombie.

 

I'm pretty sure you'll have experienced "pins and needles" or your leg going to sleep. This is brought on by loss of blood flow and hence a lack of oxygen to the muscles, and it can happen within a few minutes. If you've tried walking with a severe case you'll have noticed that its really quite difficult bordering on the impossible. well, this would happen to a zombie walking around and it'd only get worse with time.

 

but even before that, the lack of oxygen would render the brain incapable of producing nerve impulses to power anything. brain death would be quick.

 

when you die, you really do die. having a virus in you isn't going to allow your body to be functional afterwards.

 

you could maybe make a case for it if your lungs, and heart still functioned (and to a lesser extent kidneys) but still, its not going to take long for the rest of the bodies systems to go down. There's a reason you don't see people with organ failure up and about even at a reduced capacity, they're bed ridden and full of tubes for a reason. a zombie will not have these things and thus will die just the same as a normal person.

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Alright. thank your for the clarification. I was under the impresion that muscles only needed electricity to move, but I'm not sure why I thought this. After muscles are composed of cells just like any other tissue so they need oxygen in order to carry out their metabolic processes. Well back to the drawing board. What about a parasite or virus that caused evelvated levels of testosterome, an exellarated metabolism, dialated pupils (sensitivity to light) raised aggression, resistance to pain, and a lack of higher mental computation. Plausible?

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What about a parasite or virus that caused evelvated levels of testosterome, an exellarated metabolism, dialated pupils (sensitivity to light) raised aggression, resistance to pain, and a lack of higher mental computation. Plausible?

 

You mean this guy?

 

b105092551.jpg

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What if a zombie literally was the living dead. For example a zombie infects a normal person by biting them. The virus or parasite then somehow bypasses the blood brain barrier and gets control of the persons central nervous system. The person then enters a highly aggressive state and has lost all control of motor abilities and higher thought aswell as complete failiure of internal organs. The person's body would then start to decay with an absense of an immune system but the parisite would remain in control by sending electrical impluses to the muscles so the zombie would continue to move so that it could infect people. The cycle then repeats. Is this scientifically plausible?

 

I think the body would wear down very quickly (days if not hours). Furthermore without any organs where is the energy going to come from that allows the body to function?

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Also, such zombies would be really easy to kill. Humans aren't very good biters. Any realistic zombie problem could be dealt with easily with baseball bats.

 

but, in the same way the parasiten makes the rats attracted to cat pee as means of infecting more animals, it may unfasten the self safety restraint in people so they overwork their muscles to harmful degrees in order to dodge Mr.skeptic's swings and infect him along others..meh, it may even evolve that ability after a couple of generations of slow or normal moving hosts bite the dust..

like continous over doses of adrenaline..and the zombie party is complete.

 

 

p.s. is there really a self harming limit implied subconsiously on the human body, which in emergencies get released? not only in the muscles, but different senses too. wouldn't an absence of some of those limits explain all the super odd balls in human history?

like this guy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solomon_Shereshevsky

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