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Science & Technology

Researchers develop zombie escape plan

By T.K. Randall
February 28, 2015 · Comment icon 27 comments

Heading out of the major cities would be a good first step. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Nicholas A. Tonelli
A team from Cornell University has recommended running for the hills in the event of a zombie apocalypse.
The threat of a deadly zombie virus is a concept that has been featured in countless books and movies over the last few decades, but in the unlikely event that such a thing were to ever happen in the real world what would be the best way to ensure your survival ?

This is the question that a team of Cornell researchers have been attempting to tackle recently as part of a statistical mechanics exercise with the premise of a fictional zombie outbreak being used as an analogue for a real-world viral pandemic.

The team based their calculations on the assumption that new zombies would be created when existing zombies bite uninfected people, quickly spreading the disease among the population.
"If there is a zombie outbreak, it is usually assumed to affect all areas at the same time, and some months after the outbreak you're left with small pockets of survivors," said graduate student Alex Alemi. "But in our attempt to model zombies somewhat realistically, it doesn't seem like this is how it would actually go down."

The team found that while large cities would likely fall very quickly, rural areas would remain relatively untouched for quite some time after the outbreak due to their lower populations.

"Once the zombies invade more sparsely populated areas, the whole outbreak slows down - there are fewer humans to bite, so you start creating zombies at a slower rate," said Alemi.

Those looking to survive the longest therefore would be best served heading towards as remote a region as possible to minimize their chances of being bitten.

Source: | Comments (27)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #18 Posted by Shayde 8 years ago
Actually, this is kind of their job. Statistical mechanics are used in everything from video games to predicting pandemics, or in this case, combining the two. It is often entertaining to use modern popular cultural aspects in their field. I understand that, have no fear. And as you say, this sort of presentation gets the public to at least understand the rational. But, as I said above, this has been used in at least one book, plus several films on the genre. Hells, we've got a bloody "reality" game show using the zombie outbreak on TV right now. So my annoyance is that while yes this is more ... [More]
Comment icon #19 Posted by DieChecker 8 years ago
Useless. They have no nipples. I'll buy one for you and sew some nipples onto it.... Hopefully the zombies will not try to breast feed and rip the nipples off.
Comment icon #20 Posted by Sir Smoke aLot 8 years ago
Oh cmon mr. Researcher, develop them zombies first., Anyways, what protection is better then Knights armor - advice - get to museum asap.
Comment icon #21 Posted by Galahad 8 years ago
I wouldn't make it to the hills,so since I live near the sea I'm thinking just get on a boat, zombies can't swim!
Comment icon #22 Posted by Capt Amerika 8 years ago
Remember when Universities used grant money to to try to better mankind and to further knowledge? Seems to me lately they have been wasting tax payers hard earned money on stupidity. as a taxpayer this p***es me off.
Comment icon #23 Posted by cyclopes500 8 years ago
Somewhere in a top secret US bioweopons lab there is probably a selection of two stage viruses engineered to affect only certain elements of the human species. Russians Chinese Arabs south Americans or Negro. They attacks certain parts of the Human body only and if only a certain criteria is met. Namely the bits in our genes that make us look different. I am not being racist. It is a valid and effective way of turning on or off a highly selective weapon of war. One more destructive to human life than a barrage of hydrogen bombs. Why because that weapon replicates inside its target, say in the ... [More]
Comment icon #24 Posted by aquatus1 8 years ago
America, the country with the highest phenotype diversity in the world, developed a weapon that targets the genetic bits that make use look different? Yeah, okay.
Comment icon #25 Posted by DieChecker 8 years ago
That Conspiracy Theory has been around as long as Racism. Supposedly AIDS was created by the CIA to kill Africans... Sigh...... Some people will believe anything. I don't think there is enough phenotype differences between the various ethnicities of the Earth to design a disease/poison/bio-weapon around. The genetic differences are very slight.
Comment icon #26 Posted by ChaosRose 8 years ago
*musters my best Bruce Dickinson impression* Run tooooo the hills... Run foooooor your liiife!
Comment icon #27 Posted by Finder of Lost Things 8 years ago
So happy to see they are using their time wisely.

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