Hot answers tagged

74

I'm going to issue a framing challenge here, because I think you're asking the wrong question. If you're trying to make it more likely for someone to survive battlefield injuries, a redundant heart isn't really what you need. Damage to the heart isn't what causes most people to die on the battlefield. What kills them is exsanguination. It doesn't matter if ...


52

Congenital heart disease. https://www.marchofdimes.org/baby/congenital-heart-defects.aspx Congenital means present at birth. Congenital heart defects are heart conditions that a baby’s born with. These conditions can affect the heart’s shape or how it works, or both. Congenital heart defects are the most common types of birth defects. Birth ...


48

Cancer Leukemia if the king is young, colorectal cancer if the king is older. If the magical healers can't affect cellular division, excising tumours would only slow things down, and would probably be too late. As a bonus, non-communicable, so no one around the king (say, his sexual partners, in the syphilis case) gets ill - just him.


43

Crush their throat. Just jab the finger into the front of the throat as hard as you can. It's very easy to produce serious injury and death there although you can expect your opponent to try and protect the area. You may get better results by folding the finger and striking with the 2nd joint rather than using the finger fully extended. You will get a ...


43

No - not in a worthwhile way. Given the current state of medicine, organ break down is not your main problem any more. Operations to replace organs with artificial ones work, although there is still a non-negligible risk to it. Even if we assume that we can replace major organs affected by cancer and ignore the spread of cancer through metastases, there ...


42

In the event the first heart goes down, (suppose someone stabs you clean through it, for instance) the second heart kicks in and keeps the blood pumping through your body. So what you mean is, instead of dying in ten seconds or so as the blood pressure in your brain drops to zero, instead your magic super soldier get to live for a minute or so going "augh! ...


38

Cystic fibrosis Despite the name, the problem there is you produce much thicker body fluids than normal. The largest problem is mucus, which can coat the linings of the lungs, thus causing problems like lung infections, which often require long hospital stays to fix. It's often caught in infanthood, but there's no way to treat the underlying problem, so you ...


35

Assuming no inhalation and it is just their back that is burned it is completely possible for them to survive especially with care, some form of care is importance as the victim will not be moving around much. By care I mean someone to clean the victim, change bandages, and feed the victim. Likewise scar tissue that extensive will hinder mobility even after ...


32

Use tentacles. Lots of tentacles. You never go wrong with tentacles and there is never too much of them. A prisoner dangling from tentacles slithering over their bodies has no leverage to free themselves regardless of how strong they are. They cannot tear apart the tentacles because the tentacles are constantly moving and can easily maintain their grip ...


31

It will happen automatically, in fact it has already happened in your society. You are worried about nothing. If you have a civilization with the following features: low mortality, high standard of living, abundant resources, the population stops growing. Evolution actually favors K strategy in these situations, that having few offspring but investing a lot ...


30

People in the old days treated burns all the time. Just as now, the outcome depends on the amount of skin burned, the area burned and the health of the patient. I am a big fan of Ambroise Pare, "the father of surgery". He lived from 1510 to 1590. from http://jameslindlibrary.org/wp-data/uploads/2016/08/J-R-Soc-Med-2015-11-Donaldson-457-61.pdf I then ...


26

This is one of those things that sounds cool until you think about it. If our goal is to get as much of her body converted over as possible this is just going to be sad. She now has prosthetic arms and legs. They work but they are poor substitutes for the real thing. Amputees actually have to have multiple prosthetics for different uses. We can replace ...


25

Hard training of single digits Take inspiration from this fella from Malaysia. He trained (and often broke) his right index finger to the point where he is able to pierce coconuts. Such a blow to a human torso could result in lethal injuries. I imagine, that upon passing of this law, many nobles start training one of their fingers to this extent. No magic ...


24

Depends on the veterinarian--same with doctors. Like a Podiatrist or Oncologist might not have SURGICAL SKILL at all. They might leave that to someone else. It's not like TV. A veterinary doctor is far more likely to have more flexible skills, actually, unless they specialize in something like reptiles or birds. Stitching and cleaning a wound: Both vets ...


24

It Depends... ...on which kind of mask your character finds, and if they know the difference. A standard mask used to administer oxygen, air and anesthetics: A standard mask used to administer only oxygen: If you character knows what to look for (and where in a hospital to find one), the first will do well enough, if properly sized and worn. This kind of ...


24

Magnets Just make the shackles out of iron or some other metal, then place magnets inside / on the walls. Turn them on and off and there you have your "magically pinned to the wall" effect.


21

Juvenile Tay–Sachs disease While the more common infantile form is typically lethal before the age of 4, the much rarer juvenile version will see your unfortunate girl dead anywhere between ages 5 and 15. This disease is caused by a mutation that prevents cells from breaking down a certain waste molecule. This molecule continues to build up inside cells over ...


21

It would be more practical with nonhuman donors. This is xenotransplantation. http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2015/xenotransplantation-can-pigs-save-human-lives/ Human donor babies raise ethical concerns. Also practical concerns: humans grow up so slowly and are so dependent. Pigs grow up fast and a lot of the work of growing up large numbers of ...


20

G-Force The "room" is actually moving. It can be made to move very fast and will thus exert very strong force on anybody inside. Very likely pinning them to the opposite wall. One way to do this is if you have the room attached to a spinning arm similar to ones used for testing pilots. The problem might be that if you have anything else that's not ...


18

TL;DR: No, as transplanting an organ have drawbacks. Replacing a functional organ is just asking for trouble Transplants can fail: Everyone talks about the success rates of kidney transplants. Rarely do we talk about what happens when transplants fail. People will quote the official statistics that 97% of kidney transplants are working at the end ...


16

You seem to take a big leap from 'can't swallow' to 'needs IV nutrition'. Tube feeding is a viable option that is used a lot in modern medicine as well; in fact, it is preferred to IV nutrition if at all possible (i.e. when the bowel works as it should). This preference is because of the risk of infection inherent in using long-term IV access, and also ...


16

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) Unfortunately, this is a real thing. No magic, no sci-fi, no cure. It looks like it checks all the boxes, which is to say that it starts early, kills young, and overall sucks. It was the first thing that came to mind, although I could be biased by personal experiences. 1. It must begin having an effect on her from a very ...


16

YES Just recently scientists figured out how to print circuits directly onto the skin source. The are printing silver directly on to the skin with no barrier layer in between, by using a secondary compound that allows the silver to sinter at room temprature. but there are a lot of alternatives as well. Normal tattoos are already metal compounds so you can ...


15

You could go with a variant of the Rett Complex syndromes. It is a rare (1:10000) genetic condition which is usually acquired "de novo" (i.e. with both parents healthy), only fully understood twenty years ago, which mainly affects females (males die shortly after birth except in rare cases). This link describes the most common and severe forms of RCS. Some ...


15

The scenario may be possible, there is a thing called an Asymptomatic Carrier, the most famous being Typhoid Mary, these people have a disease that doesn't effect them but they can still pass it on to others. As I understand it any disease, whether viral or bacterial, can have asymptomatic carriers, I know people can be asymptomatic carriers of the mumps ...


14

Radiation Radiation is the obvious answer, as L.Dutch pointed out. A fetus is particularly susceptible to radiation impacts as it is grown lots of new cells. An adult in space already has a lot of functioning cells of all the kinds he or she needs; but if a growing fetus can't generate these cells, it won't turn into a viable adult. Low Pressure If for ...


14

NO There are only two molten metals (elemental) that would not instantly deep fry (or deep freeze) a person's skin: gallium and mercury. As you can see in this video (get up to about 6:15), mercury doesn't wet the skin -- it won't stick. And as you can see in this video, the same holds true for gallium. Don't worry about mercury poisoning! Elemental Hg is ...


13

To add on Ash's answer, Vagus nerve stimulation can lead to collapse and even to death, as consequence of induced bradycardia. Parasympathetic innervation of the heart is partially controlled by the vagus nerve and is shared by the thoracic ganglia. Vagal and spinal ganglionic nerves mediate the lowering of the heart rate. The right vagus branch ...


13

Yes, it can work but it depends a great deal on the "aerosol poison" you are dealing with. It needs to be something like chlorine gas. Chlorine works by physically damaging the respiratory tract and pulmonary system when inhaled in relatively large doses. The oxygen mask doesn't need to seal perfectly to protect the wearer and the lack of eye protection ...


13

So first of all, blood vaccines are hard to make and take a lot of time and specialist knowledge and equipment. They are very expensive as a consequence. There are only going to be a handful of labs around the world in a post-apocalyptic environment that have a chance of still being up and running AND be capable of producing such a vaccine. That means that ...


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