The Walking Dead-Mice: Researchers create zombie mice

Alex Hill and season 7 walkers. The Walking Dead. AMC.
Alex Hill and season 7 walkers. The Walking Dead. AMC. /

Scientists have found a way to activate brain cells in mice that make them kill anything in their paths. So that’s great news.

Earlier this week a report was released that said that a zombie outbreak would decimate the human population in 100 days. The hope, of course, is that no one ever creates a zombie virus.

Now we learn that scientists from Yale, along with researchers in China and Brazil, have found a way to use lasers to manipulate neurons in mice brains. The manipulation triggers a mouse’s hunting instinct, and when activated, the mouse will pursue anything in its path with a mindless aggression that is terrifying.

Thinking about a horde of rodent killing machines is terrifying. Now think about those same neurons firing in people.

The study was released in the journal Cell. Here’s one of the observations about the killer mice: “The mice take on the qualities of ‘walkers’ from [TV series] The Walking Dead, pursuing and biting almost anything in their path.”

So yeah, Walker Mice.

At what point do scientists stop and ask themselves whether this kind of knowledge is a good idea? As a fan of The Walking Dead, it’s important to remember that Rick learns during the ill-fated trip to the CDC that everyone is infected with the virus, so anyone who dies will turn into a Walker. The bigger question, which remains unanswered, is how that infection began.

Perhaps the infection was created by scientists triggering killer instincts with lasers. Just saying.

Once they have been hit with lasers (in a much more scientific way than I’m describing), the mice aggressively attack anything in their immediate area, and the aggression seems to be tied to their hunger. The study is quick to mention that they don’t attack other mice in the cage, so thus far there is no cause for concern over killer cannibal mice.

Related Story: Scientists claim a zombie takeover will take 100 days

With this in mind, though, it does cast the zombie study in a new light. Whereas the initial thought about a zombie outbreak is that zombies don’t exist, now it seems like we should avoid creating anything that could resemble a zombie virus. Creating killer mice could inadvertently lead to zombies.

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Call me crazy, but that kind of research just doesn’t seem like a great idea.