My Zombie Read

As a microbiologist, I have always been fascinated with the capabilities of an infinitesimal speck harming mankind.  My current bedside read is the science fiction novel of Max Brooks “World War Z”.  It is a documentary type narration of post apocalyptic earth after the onslaught of the virus induced Zombies.  The book allows the reader to see a world ridden by fear of extinction that only those who rises from its ashes to defend our specie from death become heroes.

Define Zombies.  Ex-humans, No need to eat or breath and only has one mission in its existence.  BITE AND INFECT.

We’ve seen this with all the Movie/TV interpretation of the undead.  It all boils down to a pathogen gone wrong. Resident evil, 28 Days later, Night of the living dead.

How do we stop these creatures? (coz killing ain’t gonna help, they’re already dead). Be sharp and hit em in the brainzzz.  Yes the only way to stop them is to target the brain.  Which is sensible.  A heart can only beat as much, but it is the brain that dictates until when.

I read this article way back in May 2011.  Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, first identified in 1865 is a fungus that controls its host, in this case their natural host is an ant, the Camponotus leonardi.  The specie of fungus is  found recently  in the jungles of Brazil and scientist fear its extinction with the current climate change and environmental shifts.  The fungi releases a certain chemical in the ant which allows it to manipulate the movement and eventually killing the ant in the process.  It doesn’t end there, the fungi resides in the ant’s brain, controlling its movement even after the ant’s death.  Creepy! The fungal specie is also said to be found in Africa and Thailand.  So close to home.

A picture of a dead ant infected by the fungi O. unilateralis (spores exudes from the head) From

They say humans create their own destruction, but I think Mother Nature when pushed to her limits might do this job instead.


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