August 19, 2009
Researchers’ Guide To Surviving Zombie Apocalypse
Although the science fiction-glamorized concept of a global zombie uprising is unlikely, researchers in Canada have used mathematical formulas to determine the best method of survival for the human race.
Writing in the book Infectious Diseases Modeling Research Progress, researchers from the University of Ottawa and Carleton University concluded that the only chance of surviving a zombie outbreak would be swift, aggressive attacks.
"While aggressive quarantine may contain the epidemic, or a cure may lead to coexistence of humans and zombies, the most effective way to contain the rise of the undead is to hit hard and hit often. As seen in the movies, it is imperative that zombies are dealt with quickly, or else we are all in a great deal of trouble."
The study may seem like child's play, but it has serious implications for the treatment of a quickly progressing lethal infection.
Researchers said the only difference between a plague of the zombie variety and one of lethal infection is that "zombies can come back to life".
"If the timescale of the outbreak increases, then the result is the doomsday scenario: an outbreak of zombies will result in the collapse of civilization, with every human infected, or dead," researchers concluded.
"This is because human births and deaths will provide the undead with a limitless supply of new bodies to infect, resurrect and convert. Thus, if zombies arrive, we must act quickly and decisively to eradicate them before they eradicate us."
"We model a zombie attack using biological assumptions based on popular zombie movies," Professor Robert Smith? (the question mark is part of his surname) told BBC News.
"We introduce a basic model for zombie infection and illustrate the outcome with numerical solutions."
Their calculations were based on the pop-culture zombie model "“ slow-moving undead creatures.
"While we are trying to be as broad as possible in modeling zombies - especially as there are many variables - we have decided not to consider these individuals," the researchers said.
"When you try to model an unfamiliar disease, you try to find out what's happening, try to approximate it. You then refine it, go back and try again," said Smith?.
"We refined the model again and again to say... here's how you would tackle an unfamiliar disease."
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