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The Walking Dead: Explained

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The Rick

on 9 November 2013

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Transcript of The Walking Dead: Explained

The Walking Dead: Explained
Walking Dead Theme
Biology: Zombie Pathogen
Pandemic: Zombie Pathogen
Wildfire Global Outbreak
Everyone infected
Millions die
Zombie Apocalypse
Living outnumbered 5000 - 1
What is a Zombie
Zombie: A deceased human body that has somehow become reanimated and autonomous, yet no longer has sufficient brain or vital functions to be considered alive or capable of thought.
are dead and decomposition continues
relatively weak and unintelligent as individuals
dangerous in large numbers
Inspired by Night of the Living Dead
Rick Grimes
Global Pandemic
Dead Transform into Zombies
Main antagonists within the post-apocalyptic world
Unknown taxonomy of
Zombie Pathogen
Can reprogram the cells to make new viruses
Can turn normal cells into malignant or cancerous cells

Famous Viral Outbreaks
Smallpox caused by variola virus
Spanish Flu (1918-1919) 20-40 million killed
HIV/AIDS killed 1.7 million in 2011
Unknown taxonomy of
Zombie Pathogen
Relatively complex, single-celled creatures with a rigid wall and a thin, rubbery membrane surrounding the fluid inside the cell. They can:
reproduce on their own
survive in different environments, including extreme heat and cold, radioactive waste, and the human body

Most Famous Bacterial Outbreak
Bubonic plague or the Black Death, which is caused by Yersinia pestis bacteria
Unknown taxonomy of
Zombie Pathogen
All known prion diseases affect the structure of the brain or other neural tissue, and all are currently untreatable and are always fatal.
Prions are hypothesized to infect and propagate by refolding abnormally into a structure which is able to convert normal molecules of the protein into the abnormally structured form.
Prion protein has been implicated in a number of diseases in a variety of mammals, including bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, also known as "mad cow disease") in cattle and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans.
Zombie Bites Do Not Kill
Zombie bites do not kill because of the zombie
pathogen, but rather the unsanitary nature of their mouths due to diet and decomposition.
Scratches cause similar infections for similar reasons.
Their mouths and saliva often contain several septic factors:

E. coli
Staphylococcus sp.
Proteus morgani
Dead to Zombie
Everyone is infected with zombie pathogen
Reanimation occurs between 3 minutes and 8 hours
Scans reveal brain going dark, the body dies then the
pathogen attacks the brain
Pathogen regenerates the brain stem
Why the Brainstem
Motor and sensory neurons travel through the brainstem allowing for the relay of signals between the brain and the spinal cord and coordinates motor control signals sent from the brain to the body. The brainstem also controls life supporting autonomic functions of the peripheral nervous system.
Alertness and Arousal
Blood Pressure and Heart Rate
Digestion and Other Autonomic Functions
Relays Information Between the Peripheral Nerves
and Spinal Cord to the Upper Parts of the Brain

Human Extinction?
"There is no hope. There never was... This is what takes us down, this is our extinction event....""
—Dr. Edwin Jenner
Based on Comic Book Series
Full transcript