“Zombie” cells created by govt. research lab (really)

The US Department of Energy reports that researchers at Sandia Labs working with the University of New Mexico have created new “zombie” cells that are more resilient, and outperform, living mammalian cells.

What could possibly go wrong.

Basically, they’re taking cells and soaking them in silica, which permeates the entire cell and hardens everything in it, as if it’s a mold.  They then heat it, burn off the organic part of the cell, its protein, so that you’re left with the silica mold of the cell. The thing is, the silica mold actually can still do a lot of things the cell would normally do.

So it actually goes from being a Cylon/Borg zombie cell to more of a body-snatcher zombie cell.

Courtesy of AMC's The Walking Dead.

Courtesy of AMC’s The Walking Dead. – a terrific show, btw.

SciGuru notes that “for reasons still partially obscure, enters without clogging and in effect embalms every organelle in the cell from the micro- to the nanometer scale.”  Yes, it’s Always good news when working with zombies for the researchers to not fully understand why the process works.

The researchers also note that they can expose the new and improved cells to super high temperatures and pressures, and they still work, indefinitely.  “Once we’ve used silica to stabilize the cellular structure, it can still carry out reactions and, more importantly, that reaction is stable enough to work at high temperatures. The method is also a means to take a soft, potentially valuable biological material and convert it to a fossil that will stay on our shelves indefinitely.”

So what they’re saying is, it’s going to be harder to kill the zombies with fire.  And without outside intervention, the zombies can live forever.

The DOE writer, Michael Hess, quotes Bryan Kaehr, a scientist at Sandia, explaining the difference between mummies and zombies.   “King Tut was mummified,” Kehr told Hess. “to approximately resemble his living self, but the process took place without mineralization [a process of fossilization]. Our zombie cells bridge chemistry and biology to create forms that not only near-perfectly resemble their past selves, but can do future work.”

Be sure to thank Mr. Kaehr when the last surviving guy at the CDC sets off the auto-destruct.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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14 Responses to ““Zombie” cells created by govt. research lab (really)”

  1. joe says:

    wtf…….the path to our ruin is paved with silica now. Way to go d.o.e.

  2. 098 says:

    Typical smart*** liberals. You are such arrogant little pr*cks.

  3. DaPa says:

    i wonder if they will bring back einstien

  4. karmanot says:

    Paradox: Republicans have diseased brains. No food there.

  5. So… flame throwers are no longer effective against zombie attacks?

    How about leaf blowers?

    I think I need more of Glenn’s gold coins and food backpacks, stat.

  6. Brains…


  7. ymr049c says:

    I hope you’re kidding, with all the hysterical rhetoric. Jeez. The other guys are supposed to be the anti-science ones.
    The products of the treatments are no longer cells. They are casts of the original cells, from what the DOE article says. They don’t reproduce, they’re not part of an organism. The cell is a scaffold for synthesizing nano structures.

  8. krm398 says:

    just another attempt to make something living ‘immortal’ or have a huge life span.not only does it make aging just about non existent, the new body is not vulnerable to heat, so even little things little working outside in the Arizona sun or hotter forever would have no effect. Making the creatures ( they not saying humans exactly) next to robots in body durability.

  9. kyle says:

    something about connecting democrats to zombies

  10. Loona_c says:

    The Zombie Apocalypse is going to be MUCH smaller than anticipated.

  11. Dave of the Jungle says:

    I always think of Condoleeza Rice.

  12. melbach007 says:

    Walking Republicans.

  13. karmanot says:

    Great illustration! I always wondered what Michele Bachmann looked like without makeup.

  14. nicho says:

    Well, that’s one way to increase the number of Republicans.

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