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Old 11-06-2010, 01:42 PM   #1
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Default National Geographic says a Zombie Apocalypse can happen

In the zombie flicks 28 Days Later and I Am Legend, an unstoppable viral plague sweeps across humanity, transforming people into mindless monsters with cannibalistic tendencies.

Though dead humans can't come back to life, certain viruses can induce such aggressive, zombie-like behavior, scientists say in the new National Geographic Channel documentary The Truth Behind Zombies, premiering Saturday at 10 p.m. ET/PT. (National Geographic News is part of the National Geographic Society, which part-owns the National Geographic Channel.) For instance, rabies—a viral disease that infects the central nervous system—can drive people to be violently mad, according to Samita Andreansky, a virologist at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine in Florida who also appears in the documentary. Combine rabies with the ability of a flu virus to spread quickly through the air, and you might have the makings of a zombie apocalypse. Rabies Virus Mutation Possible ? Unlike movie zombies, which become reanimated almost immediately after infection, the first signs a human has rabies—such as anxiety, confusion, hallucinations, and paralysis—don't typically appear for ten days to a year, as the virus incubates inside the body. Once rabies sets in, though, it's fatal within a week if left untreated. If the genetic code of the rabies virus experienced enough changes, or mutations, its incubation time could be reduced dramatically, scientists say.

Many viruses have naturally high mutation rates and constantly change as a means of evading or bypassing the defenses of their hosts. There are various ways viral mutations can occur, for example through copying mistakes during gene replication or damage from ultraviolet light. "If a rabies virus can mutate fast enough, it could cause infection within an hour or a few hours. That's entirely plausible," Andreansky said. Airborne Rabies Would Create "Rage Virus" But for the rabies virus to trigger a zombie pandemic like in the movies, it would also have to be much more contagious. Humans typically catch rabies after being bitten by an infected animal, usually a dog—and the infection usually stops there. Thanks to pet vaccinations, people rarely contract rabies in the United States today, and even fewer people die from the disease. For example, in 2008 only two cases of human rabies infection were reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A faster mode of transmission would be through the air, which is how the influenza virus spreads. "All rabies has to do is go airborne, and you have the rage virus" like in 28 Days Later, Max Mogk, head of the Zombie Research Society, says in the documentary. The international nonprofit is devoted to "raising the level of zombie scholarship in the Arts and Sciences," according to their website. To be transmitted by air, rabies would have to "borrow" traits from another virus, such as influenza.

Different forms, or strains, of the same virus can swap pieces of genetic code through processes called reassortment or recombination, said Elankumaran Subbiah, a virologist at Virginia Tech who was not involved in the documentary. But unrelated viruses simply do not hybridize in nature, Subbiah told National Geographic News. Likewise, it's scientifically unheard of for two radically different viruses such as rabies and influenza to borrow traits, he said. "They're too different. They cannot share genetic information. Viruses assemble only parts that belong to them, and they don't mix and match from different families." Engineered Zombie Virus Possible? It's theoretically possible—though extremely difficult—to create a hybrid rabies-influenza virus using modern genetic-engineering techniques, the University of Miami's Andreansky said. "Sure, I could imagine a scenario where you mix rabies with a flu virus to get airborne transmission, a measles virus to get personality changes, the encephalitis virus to cook your brain with fever"—and thus increase aggression even further—"and throw in the ebola virus to cause you to bleed from your guts. Combine all these things, and you'll [get] something like a zombie virus," she said. "But [nature] doesn't allow all of these things to happen at the same time. ... You'd most likely get a dead virus."

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...virus-science/


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Old 11-06-2010, 01:46 PM   #2
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Default Re: National Geographic says a Zombie Apocalypse can happen

A mutation to rabies could cause a zombie apocalypse? Oh, boy... but wouldn't someone with this... die after exposure?

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Old 11-06-2010, 02:22 PM   #3
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Default Re: National Geographic says a Zombie Apocalypse can happen

This is fantastic

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Old 11-06-2010, 02:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: National Geographic says a Zombie Apocalypse can happen

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A mutation to rabies could cause a zombie apocalypse? Oh, boy... but wouldn't someone with this... die after exposure?
Not before going crazy and attacking people.

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Old 11-06-2010, 04:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: National Geographic says a Zombie Apocalypse can happen

I'm ready... I've played enough Left 4 Dead to survive atleast a couple of days.

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Old 11-06-2010, 04:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: National Geographic says a Zombie Apocalypse can happen

I prefer the ironclad peer reviewed source of Cracked.com

Why it could happen: http://www.cracked.com/article_15643...ly-happen.html

Why it couldn't happen: http://www.cracked.com/article_18683...l-quickly.html

Damn science, always so indecisive

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Old 11-06-2010, 04:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: National Geographic says a Zombie Apocalypse can happen

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I'm ready... I've played enough Left 4 Dead to survive atleast a couple of days.
You can still steal tips from these guys

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_OkRpCgPgE


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Old 11-06-2010, 04:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: National Geographic says a Zombie Apocalypse can happen

Lock and load, boys.

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Old 11-06-2010, 05:21 PM   #9
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You can still steal tips from these guys

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_OkRpCgPgE
"Brian, Briaaaaan, Briiiiiaaaan" Caboose is effin' hilarious.

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Old 11-06-2010, 05:44 PM   #10
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Default Re: National Geographic says a Zombie Apocalypse can happen

Bring it!!

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Old 11-06-2010, 09:41 PM   #11
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Default Re: National Geographic says a Zombie Apocalypse can happen

Rule 1: Cardio

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Old 11-06-2010, 09:44 PM   #12
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Default Re: National Geographic says a Zombie Apocalypse can happen

Which rule was double tap? I love that rule!

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Old 11-06-2010, 09:48 PM   #13
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Which rule was double tap? I love that rule!
Rule 4: Doubletap

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Old 11-06-2010, 11:09 PM   #14
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Default Re: National Geographic says a Zombie Apocalypse can happen

I wonder how many people would die because they'd try to go on an epic survival quest like they did in all their favorite games?

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Old 11-07-2010, 12:00 AM   #15
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Default Re: National Geographic says a Zombie Apocalypse can happen

I'm gettin' me some damn twinkies...

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Old 11-07-2010, 12:22 AM   #16
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Default Re: National Geographic says a Zombie Apocalypse can happen

I just remembered

2012!

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Old 11-07-2010, 08:14 AM   #17
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Default Re: National Geographic says a Zombie Apocalypse can happen

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I wonder how many people would die because they'd try to go on an epic survival quest like they did in all their favorite games?
Didn't read all of article but...

1) stay at home, use two baseball bats as weapons, live off food/water. Make no noise. Parents do have 6 foot security fence in backyard.

2) see #1 but eventually go out for food and supplies.

3) check out the air base literally next door...

4) go out swinging.

I could probably make it a month before growing a pair or being careless.

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Old 11-07-2010, 12:18 PM   #18
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Default Re: National Geographic says a Zombie Apocalypse can happen

Rabies doesn't always work that way. It does make for a change in behavior, but it's not always violent. The violence is just heard about more often.

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Old 11-07-2010, 06:30 PM   #19
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Rabies doesn't always work that way. It does make for a change in behavior, but it's not always violent. The violence is just heard about more often.
Stop taking the fun out of it.

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Old 11-07-2010, 06:32 PM   #20
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Default Re: National Geographic says a Zombie Apocalypse can happen

No. Because it annoys me that there are people out there who really think that the zombie apocalypse is coming.

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Old 11-07-2010, 06:36 PM   #21
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No. Because it annoys me that there are people out there who really think that the zombie apocalypse is coming.
Someday...I swear.


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Old 11-07-2010, 06:40 PM   #22
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Default Re: National Geographic says a Zombie Apocalypse can happen

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No. Because it annoys me that there are people out there who really think that the zombie apocalypse is coming.
And I'll be ready!

****** shotgun*

Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
It probably won't happen though.

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Old 11-07-2010, 06:59 PM   #23
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Default Re: National Geographic says a Zombie Apocalypse can happen

*sharpens machete*

We're all doomed.

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Old 11-07-2010, 07:24 PM   #24
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Default Re: National Geographic says a Zombie Apocalypse can happen

Sweet! I'm going to the nearest mall. There's a gun shop nearby as well.

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Old 11-07-2010, 08:31 PM   #25
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Sweet! I'm going to the nearest mall. There's a gun shop nearby as well.

Oh I love that idea! Maybe you can sail away on a boat somewhere if you make it to a harbor.

My plan was to go to some rural country farmhouse and hold up there.

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