The zombie apocalypse is coming soon! An American team of biology researchers has recently created “zombie” cells that can outperform natural living cells. The technique used took mammalian cells and coated them with silica, which created a near-perfect replica.
According to the Huffington Post, the Sandia National Laboratories and the University of New Mexico biology laboratories created “zombie-like” cells that can survive at greater temperatures and pressures than the original cells when they were alive. The biological researchers coated living cells with silicic acid in a petri dish, which embalmed or mummified the organic material down to its nanometer structure or level. The technique also created permeable armor around the zombie cell to protect it from real-world conditions.
The lead researcher, Bryan Kaehr, denoted the difference between “mummy” cells and “zombie” cells: “Our zombie cells bridge chemistry and biology to create forms that not only near-perfectly resemble their past selves, but can do future work,” he said, horrifyingly.
The researchers heated the silica to around 400ºC (13,520ºF) to evaporate the cell’s protein, but left the silica as a three-dimensional replica of the “formerly living being.” According to Michael Hess at the American Office of Public Affairs, “The difference is that instead of modeling the face, say, of a famous criminal, the hardened silica-based cells display internal mineralized structures with intricate features ranging from nano- to millimeter-length scales.”
Why did the researchers assign us to certain doom in the zombie apocalypse? The research is to advance the study of reusable fossils that could be used as fuel cells. That’s right, zombie gasoline for cars, boats, and airplanes. The zombie cells could also be used for decontamination and sensor technology and commercial manufacturing, but none of that will matter once they rise up to wipe out the entire human race. Find a blunt instrument now; you’re going to need it when the dead rise from their graves to eat your braaains.