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Popular Science reports on scientific feasibility of zombie creation:
An effective agent would target, and shut down, specific parts of the brain, says Steven C. Schlozman, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard University...
...The most likely culprit for this partially deteriorated brain situation, according to Schlozman, is as simple as a protein. Specifically, a proteinaceous infectious particle, a prion.
...although the walking dead have some of their motor skills intact—walking, of course, but also the ripping and tearing necessary to devour human flesh—the frontal lobe, which is responsible for morality, planning, and inhibiting impulsive actions (like taking a bite out of someone), is nonexistent. The cerebellum, which controls coordination, is probably still there but not fully functional.
A Canadian trusts and estate attorney, Megan F. Connolly, identified an alarming statistic in her blog from Alzheimer's Disease International: An estimated 35.6-million people worldwide suffer from dementia and by 2030, the number is expected to double to more than 65.7-million.
Originally posted by TheComte
Just more evidence that Popular Science is nothing more than entertainment.
They must be trying to steal away the readership of MAD magazine. Looks like they're doing a pretty good job at it.
CJD and a handful [sic] of similar neurological conditions are caused by the misfolding of a particular protein that is found in the membranes of certain nerve cells. The strangeness is that the misfolded protein, known as a prion, somehow catalyses other molecules of the protein to misfold in the same way. The result is a chain reaction in which more and more protein ends up as prions.
Nerve cells containing the prions stop working. The sufferer endures memory loss, personality changes and spontaneous, jerky bodily movements. Eventually, the disease kills him. A drug to treat CJD would therefore be welcome. And chemicals that seem either to prevent the misfolding, or to help the body clear away misfolded molecules, do, indeed, exist. The problem is turning at least one of those chemicals into an effective medicine.
Dr Miller from DARPA confidently predicts…
"Once the team comes up with the right elixir, it’ll undergo federally mandated safety testing. After that, the zombie vaccine will be sent to the battlefield for human application."
Sub-goal 3F: Understand the effects of the space environment on human performance, and test new technologies and countermeasures for long-duration human space exploration.
The goal of the HRP is to provide human health and performance countermeasures, knowledge, technologies, and tools to enable safe, reliable, and productive human space exploration. The specific objectives of the HRP are:
1. Develop capabilities, necessary countermeasures, and technologies in support of human space exploration, focusing on mitigating the highest risks to crew health and performance. Enable the definition and improvement of human spaceflight medical, environmental and human factors standards.
2. Develop technologies that serve to reduce medical and environmental risks, to reduce human systems resource requirements (mass, volume, power, data, etc.) and to ensure effective human-system integration across exploration mission systems.