1. Tales
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    Tales Member

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    Viruses going badass!

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Tales, Jan 14, 2009.

    It has been sometime since I have visited this forum again. Ok... I have just made a decision to revive a very old fic; a 5 year old draft of a story about eugenics.

    The reason for the hiatus from was becos I couldn't find a good reason for eugenics to be revived in the 22nd century. but now I have....

    A virus's mutation causes the human population to collapse in the late 21st century.

    But my question is what is the possibility of a virus of today being able to evolve into a form where it can affect the mind of the host? Is that too impossible or is it entirely within the realms of reality?

    Discuss.
     
  2. Michel Zhivago
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    Michel Zhivago Member

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    I assume (forgive me if this is wrong) that you're asking from a non-science background? That is to say, please don't be offended if I'm explaining any of this too simplistically.

    There's something called the blood-brain barrier that could make your idea difficult to implement; it depends what you mean by 'affect the mind of the host'. If it were something Alzheimer-esque, then that may well be a possibility, since there are a select few things that can get across the blood-brain barrier, and some of those molecules could cause the deposition of plaques on the brain (which is what happens in Alzheimer's).
    Actual mind control, you're going to find difficult to put across as plausible fictional science, certainly from a viral point of view - an idea that springs to mind is that a human race who had replaced some neurons with silicon chips for increased brain power gets a computer virus, if you wanted to go down the mind control route.
    And if you wanted to plain old kill the person right in the brain with some kind of neurotoxin, be my guest, plenty of viruses and other nasties secrete them. :)
     
  3. Tales
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    Tales Member

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    Hmm okay but then how does rabies affect the brain? I looked through the medical info online and discover that it's does attack the nerves.
     
  4. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    The virus thing is easy. There are many infectious bacteria and virus' that can effect the brain, so as long as you aren't aiming for mind control which really can't be done without some kind of supernatural power or high technology, you're good. The real problem for me is how you will use this to get eugenics back in. The ideas about as unpopular as it can get these days and it probably wouldn't work in the general. Eugenics decrease the size of the gene pool which increases a populations vulnerability to disease and sickness and decreases the ability to adapt to change. I would think responding to a mass viral infection with eugenics would work in the short run and fail in the long run (unless of course that's what your aiming for... that would actually make a good plot idea...).
     
  5. Tales
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    Tales Member

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    Oh ok thanks so as long as it's not mind control. Any virus that affect an organ is still possible? Right?
     
  6. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    Oh yeah. There's probably a virus for just about any kind of plausible natural need you can think of.

    Nuclear polyhedrosis virus is a virus used as a pesticide that attacks pests as a neurovirus. Not a bad leap for some mad scientist or government conspiracy or random mishap to make such a thing target humans too, and maybe not even kill them as much as cause crazy or looney behavior.

    There is also syphilis, a mind effecting STD. Meningitis, rabies, and there are entire genuses of virus' that attack the brain in various ways. You could find a real one or even make one up to meet your needs and still keep it believably within the real of reality.

    You could also look at Autoimmune disease, which can effect the brain but is not viral. You could still believably tie this to eugenics in that autoimmune is caused when the body's immune system attacks the rest of the body.
     
  7. Tales
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    Tales Member

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    Oh! Syphilis affects the mind?

    Then I think then I think I should be truthful. The pandemic that happened in the prequel of my story is in fact a very powerful variant of HIV. This time it affect the mind too. Sufferers become like sex addicts and have a so-called unsatisfiable for sex in both males and females. Children suffer too but they are not so.... well apparent. Teenagers and adults have the sex addiction effects.
     
  8. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    Indeed it does (but not in all cases). Syphilis can affect infected individuals in a number of ways and an attack on the central nervous system is just one of them. Many famous men have been claimed to have had it: Napoleon, Oscar Wilde, and Nietzsche too (and all those guys were varying degrees of crazy).

    HIV sounds like a good idea too. It's the modern small pox. Don't think it effects the brain though, but still, a good idea for what you're going for. When people these days think epidemic HIV is probably among the four or five most common disease to come to mind.
     
  9. Tales
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    Tales Member

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    In the meantime, I will go to a psychology forum to ask any experts in there to see how sex addiction will work.

    Look I know it sounds like some cheap porn movie...etc. But scientifically speaking, if a mutation allows a species to spread its genes more widely, evolution will go into that path.... Am I right?

    And since this strain of HIV was able to bypass condoms and abstinence.etc, it will spread even more faster than its current version right?
     

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