Ok im only 13 and i know im gonna get flamed very badly but ive been studying viruses and some biology on my own time.
Ok back on topic , can you bring the dead back? personaly i dont think so. Now what if the person wasnt dead had oxygen flowing to the brain could you make a virus to make person seem dead and crave food?
heres the definaitoin of a virus/ A micro orgianism smaller then a bacteria, wich cannot grow or reproduce apart from a living cell. A virus invades living cells and uses their chemical machinery to keep its self alive and to replicate its self. It may reduce with fidelity or errors (mutatoin) this ability to mutate is responsible for the ability of some viruses to change slightly in each infected person.
ok now your probably woundering how a virus can make some one seem dead but still be alive right? Ok now say a virus mutated and infected your brain and some parts of your body. if the virus damaged the frontal lobe of your brain and only leaving the stem . NOW! only your most primitive functoins remain wich is walking and eating and maybe a couple of grunts PLUS your eyes would become a hazy white color
so heres how it would look like to a docter a patient comes in with flu like symtoms after about an hour the pateints health rapidly becomes worse the docter doesnt know whats wrong . the patient would then be presumed clinicaly dead but this is the last stage the virus would now be free to completly infect the patient. So the patient is dead the virus has no more obstalces becase the immune system is down ( THE BRAIN NEEDS A CONTANT FLOW OF OXYGEN) so the virus left the patient barely alive wich is basicaly the term for clinicaly dead . So the brain would of ben getting just enough oxygen and blood to stay alive.
OK confusing huh heres how it would spread the docter checks out the morgue only to discover that the patient is up and moveing (NOW REMEMBER THE PATIENT ONLY HAS THE MOST PRIMATIVE INSTINCTS) the patient is only seeing food and bites the docter the docter puts the patient in intensive care then aids his wounds with some alchohole. goes home and wakes up as a (ZOMBIE) i guess? bites his wife it starts
Will they live forever No the tissue would be so damaged that it it couldnt repair its self or heal and if the subject doesnt eat the virus would die.
Why in the hell would some one want to do that
TERRORIST WOULD LOVE IT Armys would use it as a bio weapon and a terror tactic
And there is probably a scientist working on this right now that we dont know about
and if you dont think that a virus could do it theres always NANO TECH. and Perasites
wich are F***** AMAZING
BEFORE YOU COMMENT OR FLAME PLEASE READ ALL OF THIS
and if you want to contact me on the matter E mail me at
You will no doubt resist and you will no doubt fail.
Well, if you're aiming at a scientifically plausible scenario, then the answer is that this is not it. A disease (virus, bacteria, prion, or parasite infection; you could include some toxins) can certainly target certain portions of the brain. However, clinical life (and, therefore, clinical death) is determined by the activity of the brainstem and the organs under its control. Therefore, a disease which destroyed civilized brain function (say, by selectively attacking portions of the frontal cortex, and possibly social-function-related portions of the hippocampus, occipetal lobe, and hypothalamus) would create a person who would become increasingly uncivilized in behavior while still being very much medically alive.
If this could be synthesized, perhaps by creating a designer microbe, it would presumably create victims with symptoms similar to those in the movie "28 Days Later." The eyes wouldn't be affected, unless that was a separate symptom, and anyway, blind zombies are far less scary than zombies that can see you. They wouldn't be able to see through hazy corneas any better than anyone else suffering from severe cataracts.
Compare this to the cumulative effect of the disease known as rabies on warm-blooded predators. It causes constant pain and degrading mental processes, leading to an eventual spiral into mindless violence.
You could propose a slightly different "tactic" for a microorgaism, such as to attack those mechanisms in the brain which control recognition of social structure and conformity. This would have a subtle immediate effect, but would gradually render a population unable to form hierarchies, and therefore dissolve into barbarism.
You contradicted yourself. If it only damages the frontal lobe you'll still be left with 3 other lobes aswell as the medulla oblongata.
If anyone's entire brain apart from the stem had been destroyed they would not have any senses nor would they have voluntary movement.
If just a persons frontal lobe was destroyed, why would they instantly become cannibals? You could just throw them a piece of chocolate and they would be happy.
That's actually my point. And, although I didn't make it clear, by brainstem I was also throwing in the medulla, pons, and other proximate structures. The parts of the brain which could conceivably be destroyed (or deactivated) in order to render a human incapable of "civilized" behavior, while leaving him largely able to physically function, are largely concentrated in the cortex of the frontal lobe. Damage to the sensory cortex in the boundary between the frontal and parietal lobe may have a small immediate effect on motor ability, but cut off sensation of pressure and pain; a serious disadvantage, with possibly immense secondary effects.
I can't say that there is any portion of the brain whose destruction or stimulation would encourage cannibalism. On the other hand, some pathologies do incorporate uncontrollable cannibalistic urges (windigo, for instance, among the aboriginal cultures of northern Canada). This means that we can't rule out the possibility that there is a "cannibal button" in the brain.
But I'm not concerned with cannibalism, but more with general violent and antisocial tendencies. There are a variety of mechanisms which could influence this. First, emotional response, and stimulation of production of epinephrine. This is partially contained in the hypothalamus, but not completely constrained. Nevertheless, there are multiple nuclei which could be targetted to affect the fight-or-flight arousal reaction.
Second, perceptual processes could be impeded by destroying loci influential to recognizing friend or foe (such as in the occipetal lobe; compare Capgras' Delusion). Other similar effects could be achieved by damaging parts of the right hemisphere near the motor region which are responsible for matching perception with reality (compare somatic delusions related to right-hemisphere strokes).
So, you couldn't create a brain-eating zombie with a disease. But, it seems to me that a disease or toxin might very well be capable of turning a population into psychopaths.
Now, I'd like to qualify my comments by saying that I'm not a neurologist, just a person who is interested in neurology, so some of you out there might catch me on details. If so, let me know.
* I have a dry sense of humour, any sarcasm that offends was not meant to do so.
* I am a sceptic at heart, however am open minded to new ideas and experiences
* If i dont reply ive probably lost track of the thread overnight and cannot be bothered to trawl through new posts
Good post monarch. I like the fact that you're looking at different scenarios which could 'simulate' zombie-like behaviour, which is undoubtedly a far more realistic possibility.
Well, the "infectious psychopath" is both more likely in reality, and more frightening in potential. A living, breathing murderer who is completely controlled by antisocial impulses is much worse than a shambling, rotting corpse. The whole undead thing only creeps people out because of the general human fear of "dead things."
Of course, I'm not going to scientifically rule out the possibility that a state that could be described as "undead" might be possible. I'm too much of a scientist to rule out anything out of hand. But undeath is a pretty vague term, medically speaking. We'd have to create some definitions.
If the subject had no heartbeat or breathing, that would mean that no centralized respiration was functioning. For the subject to be physically active, the cells would have to have another means of supporting their metabolism. One possibility for this is a biological agent which "cannibalizes" the subject's own tissue to produce chemical energy; cellular waste products would have to be consumed, catalyzed, or diverted by the microbe causing the condition. Presumably, the microbe would begin by cannibalizing tissue that was not involved with mobility. Muscles and somatic nerves would be preserved, while fatty tissue (skin, many internal organs, genitalia, etc.) was attacked for its chemical energy. This would render the subject constantly awake and alert, and capable of motion, but would quickly degrade or stop some of the normal "life signs." The lungs would quickly be attacked and devoured, and breathing would stop as the thorax and abdomen lost interior flexibility. The heart would follow, ceasing its beat as the peripheral nerves around it were destroyed. Body temperature would remain normal, or even rise; chemosynthesis generates heat.
This disease would be quickly terminal, and subjects wouldn't be able to last more than a few days, at most. The entire time, they would be overcome by the incredible pain of the infection causing their cells to lyse and implode. Their lives might be extended by consuming more fresh human fatty tissue (now, that's a disgusting thought) for the infection to convert, as opposed to converting the subject's own body.
How about a similar infection, one that attacks the body at the cellular level, but doesn't cause it to burn itself out? Perhaps in this scenario, a virus, retrovirus, prion, or intracellular parasite (perhaps a tiny bacterium that masquerades as a mitochondrion?) would generally live in symbiosis with its host (again, perhaps replacing and performing the job of intracellular mitochondria). However, this organism has very specific reactions to particular environmental conditions. If oxygen levels fell too low, it might set off a cascade of ribosomal processes which cause the cells of the body to form protein shells, sealing off the cell membrane and preventing cellular necrosis. In effect, the cell would sporulate, much like some bacteria, although animal cells cannot normally do so because of their cellular size and the structure of their cell membrane. The protein lock on the membrane would not dissolve until the oxygen level rose again.
What effect would this have? The subject would be able to survive many apparently "fatal" wounds. Not only would drowning, strangulation, asphyxiation, dehydration, and such types of oxygen depletion be temporary (with revival following soon after), but many traumatic wounds would eventually heal. Exsanguination ("bleeding out") would trigger the cellular sporulation, and a whole-body torpor would follow, rendering the body apparently "dead" until slow healing processes allowed recovery). Of course, I'm presuming that the body's own recuperative and self-revival processes are strong enough to restart breathing and heartbeat following the energy-consuming process of healing.
This doesn't describe a classic "zombie." However, it does largely satisfy the "undeath" possibility.
Now, this isn't completely realistic, as there are bodily processes that I have ignored for the sake of argument. However, it demonstrates that anything is conceivable.
HOLY CRAP I NEVER SAID THE PEOPLE WERE DEAD I SAID THEY ALMOST DIE THE VIRUS DOESNT KILL THE HOST READ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well, the opening of your topic was "Can you bring back the dead?"
But, I understood. By definition, dead is dead. If the person can be revived, then he's not dead yet. Medical science has definitions of dead, but those definitions get adjusted as we add better ways of reviving people from the brink. So, of course we can't bring back the dead. But it could be possible to simulate it in such a way that it appears we are doing so to a layman.
That was your point, I think, and I understood that.