16 May 2012

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How DNA Manipulation Will Cause The Zombie Apocalypse

Photo Credit: wvs via Flicker Creative Commons

Mary Shelley warned us years ago what could happen with her work of fiction, "The Modern Prometheus", which is better known as the novel "Frankenstein". Tampering with nature by unorthodox scientific means can produce results that may not be what the scientists intended. Is there a world of unsuspecting humans waiting for a virus to instruct their genes to mutate and pass on the virus to other hosts? The zombie apocalypse that has frightened science fiction aficionados and thrill seekers at the horror movies may already be occurring as I write these words.

Science Making Zombies
A wrong turn on a scientific trail could already by in the works. Genetic tampering with the manipulation of DNA in the insect kingdom has created zombie caterpillars. Scientists have injected a baculovirus into the gypsy moth. These mutated moths then go about their life cycle and become a genetically engineered caterpillar. These caterpillars carry within their genes a program that will spread the virus, which is also known as LdMNPV, far and wide. The caterpillars carry this virus to heights in trees where their body decomposes and becomes liquid. The liquid is them dispersed and spread by rainfall to other gypsy moths to pass on the infection to their caterpillar changelings. This has already taken place.

This is not a work of fiction. The scientific research for this scientific tampering is documented in the pages of "Science, The World's Leading Journal of Original Scientific Research, Global News and Commentary".  

Zombie Apocalpyse: More Than Fiction?
While watching Barbara run from the reanimated dead with their shuffling gaits may send a pleasant shiver down our spines, would living in a world where mankind has forever been effected by the infected be quite as entertaining? George R. Romero and Stephen King may thrill us with their horror tales and The Walking Dead may be one of the best shows on television, but living in a world where a virus is spread by rain would be a real horror brought to live.

It gives a whole new meaning to the term "acid rain". It also brings to mind our mothers warning of never venturing out in the rain without proper attire. But will umbrellas, galoshes and rain coats really protect us from the far reaching effects of a virus spread by falling rain? It could leach into the water supplies and food sources. Humankind may already be suffering from the effects of this experimentation. The next time you wonder why a climber scales to the peak of a mountaintop, ask yourself, "Is it in his DNA?"

About today's Guest Writer:
Mike Ludlow is a writer for GTLDNA, a dna test company. Besides writing about sciene fiction of gene manipulation gone wrong, Mike also writers about the benefits of genetic testing. 

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