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Sci Tech

'Apocalypse Zombies' a possibility says scientist

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Max Mogk, head of the Zombie Research Society, is also interviewed in the National Geographic documentary. Mogk shares this cheery tidbit: "All rabies has to do is go airborne, and you have the rage virus."

The "rage virus" is a fictitious disease that's accidentally released and goes airborne infecting millions. This delightful scenario is the focus of the cult film hit "28 Days Later."

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Here humanity, trapped on the quarantined British Isles, find themselves exposed to a virus that spreads like wildfire among the cities and countryside. Most people become rabid, psychotic zombies termed the "Infected."

Not likely to happen, but...

Virtually all virologists agree that two disparate viruses such as rabies and influenza could swap genetic material in a recombinant way. Although they assure everyone that such an event is unheard of, some recall the strange episode of the Swine flu outbreak that seemed to have genetic markers of swine flu, avian flu and a third type not easily identified. At the time, the strangeness of the virus led some biologists to wonder aloud if it had escaped from a bio-warfare laboratory.

Genetically engineered zombie viruses

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The speculation over the Swine flu leads to the question of genetic manipulation in the laboratory. Could some "mad scientist" actually create a zombie-flu virus?

Experts admit creating such a monstrous thing is possible. But they hurry to qualify that admission with assurances that creating such a hybrid would be a monumental task.

Andreansky postulates in the documentary about the possibility of genetically engineering a viral zombie pandemic.

"Sure, I could imagine a scenario where you mix rabies with a flu virus to get airborne transmission," she says, "a measles virus to get personality changes, the encephalitis virus to cook your brain with fever and throw in the Ebola virus to cause you to bleed from your guts."

Truly insane. Who would ever initiate a bio-engineering project like that?

"Combine all these things," she continues,"and you'll [create] something like a zombie virus."

Again, who in their right mind would ever fund a bio-engineering project like that?

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...a military bio-warfare lab?

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TAKING AYM Once during a radio interview, Terrence Aym was asked what motivated him to write. He responded that he writes for two primary reasons: the first is to entertain and inform his readers; the second, writing gives him personal (more...)

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