Saturday, February 24, 2007

Biology of Vampires, Part 2

Of course it figures that after I write my post, I come up with a few more ideas.

Vampires have a very powerful seductive ability, typically. I'd attribute this to pheremones. Normally, we don't notice them too much, so they don't play a very strong role. My guess is that these guys either have enhanced pheremones and/or pump them out like crazy. Maybe they can even control the release.

One of the trickier issues is the spread of vampirism. It would be easy to attribute it to a virus, but that doesn't end the problem. It's not a unheard of assumption for a virus to change the phenotype of a cell. It's the entire basis of gene therapy. However, usually viral infection is associated with problems in at least some tissue. For a virus to replicate, it has to destroy the cell it infects. So, for a virus to affect the entire organism, why doesn't the vampire die? It could be that the virus can replicate in some tissues and not in others, such as appendix vs. muscles, but I'm not certain such a mechanism is possible. Typically, if a virus can get in, it can multiply.

Hm . . . well, I've run out of new ideas. Anybody else have some thoughts?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The virus itself could use blood itself as its main area of replication, which would explain why a vampire would need to consume so much blood. The other tissues would then incorporate the viral genetic matter, yet instead of then being used by the virus for replication the cells would incorporate it and then mutate into a proto-human cell, similar to cancer. As one may find, cancer is the immortal cell, which constantly divides and mutates. Vampires would simply have a sub-species of cancer which is again, indefinitely immortal, and constantly reproduces and replicates, but does not grow out of control or mutate in unhealthy ways as other cancers do. This would also explain the vampiric regenerative and healing abilities as well as their fear of water, as such replication would require abundant oxygen, vampires could drown and suffocate at an accelerated rate. This would also explain the aversion to sunlight as cancer have higher sensitivities to cellular destructors such as UV waves and other certain chemicals.