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Genetic secret behind virus that turns caterpillars into zombies discovered

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posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 04:32 PM
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www.dailymail.co.uk...


Like a plot from a horror film, there's a virus that brainwashes caterpillars, forces them to march up trees, then turns them to goo.

Now scientists at Penn State University have found the single gene that enables the virus to carry out its dark deeds.

The caterpillars would normally return to the ground to hide after feeding on leaves, but the baculovirus reprogrammes them to stay in the trees, melts them, then drips down among the remains to infect more of the creatures.

Researcher Kelli Hoover, writing in Science, said: 'When gypsy moth caterpillars are healthy and happy, they go up into the trees at night to feed on leaves, and then climb back down in the morning to hide from predators during the day.

'When they are infected, as they get sicker they stay up in the trees and die up there.'


Don't know if I would classify them as zombies, in say the hollywood sense.


But anything that kills that self-preservation gene in you is definitely not good, and the fact they melt to distribute the virus is a little scary. This is crazy news and hopefully they do not try and use this virus on people or else we will be living in 'Dawn of the Dead'.


Any zombie news is good news in my book.


Any thoughts?

Pred...
edit on 9-9-2011 by predator0187 because: stupid link wouldn't work.




posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 04:35 PM
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Originally posted by predator0187
www.dailymail.co.uk...
Any zombie news is good news in my book.


Any thoughts?


Very interesting, that'll do pig!



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 04:39 PM
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That's just creepy as all-get-out!!!

Drippy death?!?! Genetics...well, at least we have fodder for a cool sci-fi movie!!!

S&F



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 04:41 PM
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reply to post by predator0187
 


Yeah human applications would be pretty gnarly

Imagine stepping in a pile of your neighbor



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 04:45 PM
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reply to post by irsuccubus
 


Gross! Only to be poisoned yourself and melt yourself into goo.

I wonder if we would be saying 'brains.'


Creepy stuff though.

Pred...



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 05:48 PM
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Hope we don't have some mutation of that virus going into the human population. Yuck!!



posted on Sep, 9 2011 @ 05:53 PM
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Great zombies that climb
that's the last thing we need I hope they still turn to drippy goo when it mutates to humans that might not be so bad
edit on 9/9/2011 by iforget because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 10 2011 @ 04:15 AM
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reply to post by predator0187
 


oh, i was gunna post about this, good thing i found this thread or id be repeating stuff lol

its a bit scary that there are viruses/fungi/insects that can control host minds in order to survive and spread. whats even scarier is that scientists are playing around with this stuff.
would it be possible for any of these things to infect humans, and if so would it result in a zombie apocalypse??

who knows, *man, i gotta get me a shotgun*



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