Tag Archives: zombie apocalypse

The Worst Places To Seek Refuge During The Zombie Apocalypse

Posted: 10/21/2014 8:26 pm EDT
If and when the zombie apocalypse is nigh, we will all have to make one monumental decision: Where to seek refuge?

Steer clear of the 25 cities on the map below, produced by real-estate website Trulia. Unless you’re a zombie, in which case, live it up! (Oh wait, you can’t.)

zombieapocalypse

When the undead rise up, hitting the beach in zombie-free bliss will not be an option. Honolulu is ranked as the most appetizing city for hungry zombies.

Residents of Honolulu will make easy targets for the walking dead, what with the city’s high walkability and lack of hardware stores (where there are potential zombie-killing weapons). Honolulu also has a high hospital density, making it easy for zombies to find weak victims, and it is extremely congested, with some of the worst traffic in the nation.

New York is number two on the list, followed by Newark, Boston, and Washington D.C.

Trulia calculated the survivability of the cities using the following criteria: highest walk score, lowest hardware store density, highest hospital density, and most congestion.

So where should we find refuge? We might take a page from the book of “The Walking Dead’s” Rick Grimes and build a fortress in Atlanta — it doesn’t even appear on the map.

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Ancient Virus Revived From 700-Year-Old Caribou Feces

Sounds like something stupid to start a zombie apocalypse movie…

October 28, 2014 | by Janet Fang

photo credit: An ice core containing ancient caribou feces. Caribou DNA, digested plants, and viruses were frozen within layers of ice for thousands of years, enabling researchers to detect the genomes of ancient viruses / Brian Moorman

Researchers have reconstituted a viral genome from centuries-old caribou feces frozen in the subarctic, and they’ve used the ancient viruses to infect lab plants. The findings, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week, offer a rare glimpse of viral evolution.

Ancient viruses provide snapshots of past diversity and a way to trace viral evolution, but their concentrations are low and intact samples are rarely successfully isolated from the environment. Cryogenically preserved samples in nature may be an untapped repository of preserved ancient viral genetic material.

A team led by Eric Delwart from the University of California, San Francisco, analyzed viral genetic material contained in an ice core obtained by drilling through layers of accumulated caribou feces up to 4,000 years old in a permanent ice patch in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Caribou gather on ice patches to escape pesky flying insects and heat in the summertime. After eating nearby veggies, they deposit feces that contain their DNA, partially digested plant material, as well as viruses—which can remain frozen for millennia. Here’s an aerial photograph of one such caribou congregation:

From a 700-year-old layer of the ice core, the team isolated the complete small circular genome of a DNA virus that was distantly related to plant and fungi-infecting viruses today. They named it aCFV, for ancient caribou feces associated virus. They also isolated a partial viral RNA genome that was related to an insect-infecting virus. They call this one Ancient Northwest Territories cripavirus, or aNCV.

These never-before-seen viruses either originated in plants eaten by caribou or insects attracted to fecal matter, and they were preserved at constant freezing temperatures within protective viral capsids.

The team used a “reverse genetic approach” to reconstitute the genome of the DNA virus. Then, to confirm that the virus infects plants, they inoculated the tobacco relative Nicotiana benthamianawith the ancient viral DNA. The inoculated plants displayed evidence of infection: The DNA virus replicated and systemically spread in the inoculated leaves (orange arrow) as well as their newly emerging leaves (white arrow).

As far as Delwart can tell, these viruses aren’t dangerous, NPR reports. But as the climate warms and more ice melts, more caribou poo infected with ancient viruses might be making its way into the modern ecosystem.

Images: Brian Moorman (top), Glen MacKay (middle), Li-Fang Chen (bottom)

 

 

 

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The Worst Places To Seek Refuge During The Zombie Apocalypse

Posted: 10/21/2014 8:26 pm EDT Updated: 10/21/2014 8:59 pm EDT
If and when the zombie apocalypse is nigh, we will all have to make one monumental decision: Where to seek refuge?

Steer clear of the 25 cities on the map below, produced by real-estate website Trulia. Unless you’re a zombie, in which case, live it up! (Oh wait, you can’t.)

zombieapocalypse

When the undead rise up, hitting the beach in zombie-free bliss will not be an option. Honolulu is ranked as the most appetizing city for hungry zombies.

Residents of Honolulu will make easy targets for the walking dead, what with the city’s high walkability and lack of hardware stores (where there are potential zombie-killing weapons). Honolulu also has a high hospital density, making it easy for zombies to find weak victims, and it is extremely congested, with some of the worst traffic in the nation.

New York is number two on the list, followed by Newark, Boston, and Washington D.C.

Trulia calculated the survivability of the cities using the following criteria: highest walk score, lowest hardware store density, highest hospital density, and most congestion.

So where should we find refuge? We might take a page from the book of “The Walking Dead’s” Rick Grimes and build a fortress in Atlanta — it doesn’t even appear on the map.

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New life: Scientists create first semi-synthetic organism with ‘alien’ DNA

SCIENCE EDITOR
Wednesday 07 May 2014

The researchers believe the breakthrough is the first step towards creating new microbial life-forms with novel industrial or medical properties resulting from a potentially massive expansion of genetic information.

The semi-synthetic microbe, a genetically modified E. coli bacterium, has been endowed with an extra artificial piece of DNA with an expanded genetic alphabet – instead of the usual four “letters” of the alphabet its DNA molecule has six.

The natural genetic code of all living things is based on a sequence of four bases – G, C, T, A – which form two sets of bonded pairs, G to C and T to A, that link the two strands of the DNA double helix.

The DNA of the new semi-synthetic microbe, however, has a pair of extra base pairs, denoted by X and Y, which pair up together like the other base pairs and are fully integrated into the rest of the DNA’s genetic code.

The scientists said that the semi-synthetic E. coli bacterium replicates normally and is able to pass on the new genetic information to subsequent generations. However, it was not able to use the new encoded information to produce any novel proteins – the synthetic DNA was added as an extra circular strand that did not take part in the bacterium’s normal metabolic functions.

The study, published in the journal Nature, is the first time that scientists have managed to produce a genetically modified microbe that is able to function and replicate with a different genetic code to the one that is thought to have existed ever since life first started to evolve on Earth more than 3.5 billion years ago.

“Life on earth in all its diversity is encoded by only two pairs of DNA bases, A-T and C-G, and what we’ve made is an organism that stably contains those two plus a third, unnatural pair of bases,” said Professor Floyd Romesberg of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California.

“This shows that other solutions to storing information are possible and, of course, takes us closer to an expanded-DNA biology that will have many exciting applications, from new medicines to new kinds of nanotechnology,” Professor Romesberg said.

Expanding the genetic code with an extra base pair raises the prospect of building new kinds of proteins from a much wider range of amino acids than the 20 or so that exist in nature. A new code based on six base pairs could in theory deal with more than 200 amino acids, the scientists said.

“In principle, we could encode new proteins made from new, unnatural amino acids, which would give us greater power than ever to tailor protein therapeutics and diagnostics and laboratory reagents to have desired functions,” Professor Romesberg said.

“Other applications, such as nanomaterials, are also possible,” he added.

The researchers emphasised that there is little danger of the new life-forms living outside the confines of the laboratory, as they are not able to replicate with their synthetic DNA strand unless they are continuously fed the X and Y bases – synthetic chemicals called “d5SICS” and “dNaM”, that do not exist in nature.

The bacteria also need a special protein to transport the new bases around the cell of the microbe. The transporter protein comes from algae and if it, or the X and Y bases, are lacking, the microbial cells revert back to the natural genetic code, said Denis Malyshev of the Scripps Institute.

“Our new bases can only get into the cell if we turn on the “base transporter” protein. Without this transporter or when the new bases are not provided, the cell will revert back to A, T, G, C and the d5SICS and the dNaM will disappear from the genome,” Dr Malyshev said.

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1884: The Stevens Bicycle Rifle

1884: The Stevens Bicycle Rifle

March 7, 2014
Stevens-Bicycle-Rifle

Source: Old Bike
Nothing says Second Amendment rights like a nice rifle bicycle.  Stay in shape, get around, and protect yourself.  Could be good for a zombie apocalypse too…  Of course if they made something like this is Massachusetts today, the ATF would raid them.

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Phoenix Zombie Walk 2013 – Photos by Cowgirlzen Photography

All images courtesy Song River of CowGirlZen Photography. See more atcowgirlzenphotography.smugmug.com or amazingarizonacomiccon.com.

These are just a sample posted on local news media.  Try out the links above and have a Happy Halloween!  I am off the rest of the night to go haunting others…

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Zombie Apocalypse Pictures for Halloween Tomorrow (Warning: Graphic)

Zombie Apocalypse Pictures for Halloween Tomorrow (Warning: Graphic)

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