For Science!
8 Ways to Make Vampires Realistic

CJ Miozzi | 9 Jul 2014 19:00
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4. Immortality

Immortality is a trait often ascribed to vampires. In biology, the concept of immortality does exist - effectively, your body stops degrading over time. In fact, there exist some organisms on this planet that are immortal, including some jellyfish and possibly even lobsters.

Biological aging is nothing more than the gradual deterioration of our cells. Over time, our cells lose the ability to reproduce, so there are no fresh cells to replace cells that become damaged or simply undergo "normal wear and tear." This can be extrapolated to our organs, which can no longer heal or function as well, until we eventually die of "old age" - which is actually the failure of some vital organ.

Research is currently underway to find ways to biologically engineer immortality into human beings, since we know - from nature - that it is possible. While we don't appear close to making such a breakthrough, there's no reason our vampire cannot be one of nature's creatures that evolved to be biologically immortal.

5. Regeneration

Vampires are often depicted as possessing an incredible capacity for rapid healing and even the ability to regenerate lost body parts. Biologically, this presents little issue to us. Salamanders and newts are able to regenerate limbs, tails, jaws, eyes and a variety of internal structures. After suffering a wound, cells become activated and rebuild tissue and organs to their previous state.

Even human beings have demonstrated limited regenerative capabilities, such as the ability to regrow lost fingertips, and scientists are actively working to find ways to increase mammalian regeneration. Our homo vampiris could have natural regenerative properties that would make them especially difficult to kill. Vampire mythos often cites that to kill a vampire, you must either decapitate it or drive a stake through its heart - those are two surefire ways to ensure a creature capable of regeneration is, in fact, dead.

6. Garlic

A vampire's aversion to garlic tends to be one of the first fabled traits that modern vampire fiction drops, yet it's one of the simplest to justify scientifically. It is not uncommon for people who often find themselves handling and cutting fresh garlic to have an allergic reaction to the oils left on their fingertips. Initially presenting itself as a rash, the allergy could become severe enough to mimic the symptoms of a second- or even third-degree burn. In rarer cases, it is not just the garlic's oil that induces the allergic reaction, but also the garlic dust or vapors, which may be inhaled.

Scientists know that allergies can be passed down genetically, so our homo vampiris can have a genetic predisposition to severe garlic allergy. Curiously, one treatment for a "garlic burn" is UV radiation treatment, which is obviously out of the question for our vampires and all the more reason why they would want to avoid getting close to garlic.

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