Questions tagged [viruses]

For questions about infectious agents that alter existing systems in order to reproduce.

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How would a virus that only kills one sex work?

There is a popular movie trope of the near-total elimination of a sex (often male) because of a virus/a plague. This got me wondering : How would such a virus work? I'm not sure if it would be ...
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1 vote
2 answers
179 views

How to counteract a trojan horse when the horse is the anti-virus software?

I have got caught behind the 'irresistible force meets immoveable rock' conundrum. A predatory country has been making very long-term plans for building an empire. This country, as part of a very long-...
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5 votes
2 answers
81 views

What would a heterozygote advantage against the mutant coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 look like?

Some heterozygote advantages in humans are: People with sickle-cell trait are resistant to malaria, but people with sickle-cell disease tend to die young. Depending of the source we believe, people ...
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5 votes
1 answer
56 views

Virologically Correct Wart-Causing Toad

It was once believed that warts could be caught from a toad. At first glance, this seems like something that could plausibly be true Unfortunately, warts are caused by HPV, the human papillomavirus. ...
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2 votes
4 answers
163 views

What countermeasures can robots develop against nanites?

In sci fi TV tropes nanites or nanoscopic are autonomous molecules that can shut down robots by injecting them into their positronic brains, where they house all the important functions that dictates ...
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4 votes
2 answers
116 views

What would a heterozygote advantage against rabies look like?

Some heterozygote advantages in humans are: People with sickle-cell trait are resistant to malaria, but people with sickle-cell disease tend to die young. Depending of the source we believe, people ...
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7 votes
4 answers
2k views

What would be the easiest way for a personality-altering bioweapon to be transmitted?

So this bioweapon is a genetically-engineered microscopic parasite used by a certain government in a sort of revolution-turned-war. It works by making its host more paranoid, stressed and non-trusting ...
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5 votes
2 answers
99 views

Heterozygote advantage against influenza/flu

Some heterozygote advantages in humans are: People with sickle-cell trait are resistant to malaria, but people with sickle-cell disease tend to die young. Depending of the source we believe, people ...
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3 votes
2 answers
232 views

Covid-19 disappears, how long would it take to notice?

Covid-19; We all know what that is, a contagious pandemic that has caused an immense amount of loss and devastation and has effected tons of people all over the world You are chilling in your cozy ...
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1 vote
4 answers
207 views

Virus to rewrite the human brain

There are things that people do which makes them feel an extreme sense of guilt, often ending in suicide or the least self mutilation as a mechanism to ''punish oneself'', there are also people who ...
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1 vote
0 answers
90 views

Influenza viruses [closed]

Suppose the H7N9 virus becomes pandemic; know that it has a 60% mortality rate. Suppose a vaccine has been developed that has a 1/100,000 chance of causing permanent paralysis of your legs. Is it ...
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1 vote
0 answers
81 views

A virus that makes you stupid? [closed]

If somehow a virus that makes everybody who gets the virus have a IQ of about 60-70. How would the world react? I am mostly intrested in what would most likely happen the the people infected. The ...
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4 votes
1 answer
77 views

Infectious diabetes [closed]

I want to know if the disease I invented is realistic or a total fiction. I imagined a hypothetical viral disease that causes a contagious form of diabetes. It is only transmitted by blood. The virus ...
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3 votes
5 answers
1k views

How many species does a virus need to infect to destroy life on Earth? [closed]

Okay, let's say that there's a virus that can infect multiple species, is very hard to cure, extremely contagious, can linger asymptomatically for long periods of time, and likely to be deadly. It ...
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4 votes
4 answers
619 views

Can a virus that causes forced evolution exist?

I recently watched a movie called The Cave. In the movie there's a group of spelunkers that get trapped in the cave with a bunch of blind monsters. towards the end of the movie, we find out that the ...
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33 votes
9 answers
8k views

Can we get rid of all illnesses by a year of Total Extreme Quarantine?

Earth-Year: 2618. Location: Planet Hope, Proxima Centauri. Terraformation status: 97.8% Earth-like. Population: 128.596. The residents of this planet live in a paradise-like environment. The gravity ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
107 views

Could a terrorist organization destroy most of Earth's population? [closed]

A small, but wealthy, terrorist organization, (or "freedom fighters", or "savoiurs of the world", if you use their own language) sees the world as full of "sinners", and ...
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14 votes
5 answers
3k views

A Plague that Causes Death in All Post-Plague Children

The backstory of the world in the story I am writing tells of a deadly plague that significantly depopulated all of humanity. Years later, as the survivors began to recover post-plague they noticed ...
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23 votes
12 answers
7k views

The everybody-hates-everybody virus. Can humanity survive?

Aliens that are weaklings and have no physical weapons as we know them, want to conquer Earth because their home planet is dying. They sow an everybody-hates-everybody virus throughout Earth's ...
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0 votes
1 answer
81 views

Is a vampire virus possible? [duplicate]

I want to make a vampire virus spread by sex and kissing. But, I’m not wanting to add anything unrealistic. I want the virus to originate from one rogue vampire from hell. Is this possible?
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13 votes
12 answers
3k views

Keeping the horde of nanomachines at bay?

So, there are three major powers in the setting that can be reasoned with, and a fourth that is just there to destroy. I have a problem with balancing them. The so-called nature spirits are creatures ...
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7 votes
5 answers
253 views

Radio controlled sheep

A worldwide pandemic has killed the world's dogs and their cousins the wolves. In sheep farming countries, dogs have been and still are an invaluable aid to sheep farmers. Some breeds will herd the ...
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1 vote
0 answers
70 views

A universe with no coronaviruses [closed]

Starting a new TTRPG campaign, I mentioned the players that it takes place in our contemporary universe, but with no COVID-19 epidemics. In fact, I went so far as to say that that version of our ...
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8 votes
6 answers
794 views

Could a "multicellular" virus exist?

When I say multicellular I mean it's made of more that one viruses. Basically it's a bunch of viruses that act like viruses but use the viruses made by infected cells to build a "multicellular" ...
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14 votes
11 answers
5k views

What pandemic could keep the world in isolation near indefinitely?

What kind of pandemic could keep nations on severe lock down for at least long enough to necessitate irreversible changes to culture and the economy (preferably a decade or longer)? Such as fast-...
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2 votes
0 answers
58 views

How would humans react in a post- apocalipic world if they all became sick from a new virus? [closed]

I am working on writing a story where humans try to survive in a deserted wasteland where a highly contageous and mortal disease is spreading like wildfire. How would humans act or react to the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
136 views

Can 2019-nCoV be altered to be carried by the wind?

After surveying customers about their new product, 2019-nCoV™, E.V.I.L. Inc. realized that many of them would pay for an upgrade which allows for the virus to be carried by the wind itself in order to ...
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-3 votes
3 answers
219 views

Epidemic friendly time traveller

My time traveller from the distant future is about to get stranded back in time, but realises that by travelling back a short time, maybe 100000 years, he is going to leave a trail of destruction by ...
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4 votes
4 answers
444 views

Feasibility of a virus that causes its host to crave sex?

In the near future a man-made virus was released which caused a world wide epidemic in humans and animals , the virus completly shutsdown all cognitive functions in the brain leaving the host in a ...
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  • 1,108
4 votes
2 answers
235 views

How do I preserve my Wendigo Prion?

Wendigo fever is a Prion (credit goes to SE is too politically correct for the idea) which is spread by the consumption of tainted meat. the main problem I have is to my knowledge Prions are solely ...
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  • 6,033
1 vote
7 answers
383 views

Why would a government release a virus that preferentially kills old people; would a country struggling with an aging population secretly do this? [closed]

Inspired by current events, and the ongoing problem of too many old people and not enough young people creating a burden on pension/healthcare systems in Asia and around the world. For starters, I ...
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5 votes
3 answers
422 views

Creating a plausible Wendigo fever

It is believed that Wendigos are supernatural beings with an insatiable hunger for human flesh, or humans who are selfish and commit cannibalism and while the latter is more accurate, Wendigo fever is ...
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-3 votes
3 answers
163 views

Feasibility of the neuro strain

The neuro strain is a virus that affects the nervous system in drastic ways. Firstly, when the host is infected, their body will grow bigger than it would have originally been but not much bigger - ...
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1 vote
2 answers
130 views

Feasibility of the hypo-strain

In the isle, a game about dinosaurs and a extensive lore, there are strains (viruses)that cause or inflict different effects on the affected dinosaur. The hypo strain is capable of making the body of ...
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2 votes
2 answers
78 views

How could a mutation of an engineered virus initially be undetectable?

Doctors have found a way to identify the initial strain of this lethal, engineered virus. Most mutations have been easily identifiable by an AI-supported system. Is it plausible that a mutated ...
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1 vote
3 answers
131 views

Interplanetary Spore Plague(Rapture Virus)

On planet Earth, the capital of the Earth Sphere in my universe, in the year 2127, the population has increased(in density per area) by about 410%, due to the discovery of "key" bridges- traversable ...
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0 votes
2 answers
171 views

ideal virus for eco-terrorist [closed]

This is a follow up question to my earlier question what makes a disease deadly? In my book, the villain, a biology professor inspired by Ted Kaczynski, wants to revert humanity into a hunter ...
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12 votes
4 answers
3k views

what makes a disease deadly?

I am writing a story, in which a mad scientist (based on Ted Kaczynski) wants to kill as many people as possible with an artificially created disease. The idea is, that more complex societies are ...
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6 votes
9 answers
4k views

How would an unethical corporation go about extracting resources from a nation unwilling to co-operate?

In the 22nd century, resource depletion is a serious problem, as most of whatever we had left has been stripped bare. A large multinational corporation, let's call them Deus X, is searching everywhere ...
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5 votes
4 answers
134 views

How can I make gene therapy using a retroviral vector go wrong and mutate into an airborne contagion?

I've been reading about viral vectors and am looking to incorporate it into my setting. From what I can see, it's possible to use viral vectors as a form of gene therapy, and retroviruses can work ...
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  • 1,271
4 votes
4 answers
123 views

Designing the properties of a biological agent that could wipe out 90% of the population without being stopped

I'm interested in coming up with a plausible agent of destruction, virus or fungus or engineered weapon or what have you, that could conceivably wipe out a majority of the human race. What physical ...
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7 votes
3 answers
131 views

What are my "viral" humans harvesting from from my uninfected humans?

The following scenario takes place on Earth, sometime in the next few decades. An unethical biotech company has developed a deadly bioweapon that uses humans as a vector, almost like a suicide bomber ...
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  • 1,337
1 vote
2 answers
244 views

How would the American government deal with an incurable biological (virus/bacterial/parasite etc.) outbreak?

We're in the United States, sometime in the next few years. Through a series of circumstances, a viral outbreak occurs in the country. For the sake of detail, this is how it happens: A scientific ...
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  • 1,337
3 votes
4 answers
311 views

What would be the most effective way for a parasitic alien lifeform to spread and grow on a post-apocalyptic Earth?

The background is that Earth is the victim of a massive comet strike, that wipes out a large portion of humanity (let's say 80-90%). Let's say that the comet was carrying an alien parasite that's a ...
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  • 1,337
-3 votes
1 answer
125 views

How could a bioweapon designed for warfare go wrong and kill billions, and have additional side effects? [closed]

In the 22nd century, the major world powers are at each other's throats, fighting over dwindling resources and territories. One of the sides develops a biological weapon, let's say a virus, to be ...
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  • 1,337
4 votes
4 answers
368 views

Would measles make a good apocalypse?

Let's say terrorists wanted to release a bioweapon that could deal with most of the world's third world population, and they developed a chimera disease that was essentially the measles, but with ...
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  • 1,376
2 votes
2 answers
297 views

Is this a plausible way for an alien organism to unwittingly cause a mass apocalypse on Earth?

It's around the mid-2300s. Earth is, to put it simply, in trouble. Climate change has resulted in flooding of major coastal cities, displacing billions, which ultimately led to widespread conflict and ...
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  • 1,337
8 votes
4 answers
440 views

What is more plausible, viruses in a host brain or a viral colony becoming conscious?

In my story I have a strain of virus capable of stealing parts of or changing its hosts DNA, so it could copy the abilities in nature for its next host of choice by taking the genes which control the ...
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6 votes
3 answers
455 views

Is it possible for thermophilic viruses to infect humans?

I'm writing a short story that focuses on an area with high thermophile activity, like a hot spring. There are known thermophile viruses, but thermophiles aren't able to transmit these to humans ...
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  • 1,649
-1 votes
4 answers
170 views

Why would a virus evolve to subsist on an energy source that doesn't exist on their planet?

In my world, I have a dangerous virus that has evolved to subsist on Aether, which for now I will just call its secondary energy source apart from a normal infection of an animal. Yet on the planet ...
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