Skip to main content
76 votes
Accepted

Could a virus that just kills plants be the end of us all?

We're boned. You described a virus that is... air, fresh, and saltwater borne destroys plants and their seeds in two days can survive in all terrestrial environments can go dormant, presumably in ...
Schwern's user avatar
  • 30.1k
50 votes
Accepted

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

Only for SOME types of illnesses. Even then there are problems. Some illnesses are not infectious. That means quarantine does nothing to slow them down. (a) Genetic illnesses. For example autoimmune ...
Daron's user avatar
  • 66.2k
48 votes
Accepted

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

The virus is a strategic mistake The virus was released into the atmosphere, so unevenly and dependent on winds, the carnage will spread, quickly, but some survivalists, politicians, military, etc ...
Ash's user avatar
  • 44.2k
44 votes

Keeping the horde of nanomachines at bay?

The nanites use IPv6 for communication. Source of the image above: https://xkcd.com/865/ They are limited therefore to 2128 bots operating at the same time. Any extra nanobots are unable to ...
The Square-Cube Law's user avatar
38 votes
Accepted

A Plague that Causes Death in All Post-Plague Children

A virus cause genetic mutation in the parents. A virus-induced mutation in the germ plasm of the parents. It does not alter their own bodies, but it does edit the DNA in the eggs or testes (thus in ...
PcMan's user avatar
  • 26.3k
35 votes

Virus extinction at the snap of a finger. Can life on Earth continue to exist normally?

Probably Everyone (and Most Animals) Die There's actually an article on exactly this. What we do know is that phages, or the viruses that infect bacteria, are extremely important. Their name comes ...
jdunlop's user avatar
  • 32k
30 votes

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

Yes A nuclear sub can spend six months underwater and have 135 crew. There is about 150 around the world. You then have the virologists and other scientists working sterile labs would work out what ...
Thorne's user avatar
  • 47k
29 votes

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

Multinational corporations have been in the business of bending unwilling nations to their corporate will to allow for the extraction of resources, for a very long time now. They have a considerable ...
a4android's user avatar
  • 38.5k
27 votes

How do scientists know whether a virus is man-made or not?

Nothing is impossible. Science will never definitively prove anything (nor does it have to). However, it can bring up some very solid evidence to support or refute the hypothesis that it is a man ...
Cort Ammon's user avatar
  • 132k
26 votes

Can a person be immune to all diseases and poisons

TL;DR: Powers as given: Not Plausible The Super-immune System A person's immune system is designed to suss out things like bacteria and viruses, and likely anything that could mimic it enough. It ...
Haylen's user avatar
  • 5,553
24 votes

Can a person be immune to all diseases and poisons

Not only it won't work as you think, it might actually make them more vulnerable to death by (immune) overreaction. You see, the inside of our body is a really good place to live in: it is nicely warm ...
ProjectApex's user avatar
  • 14.2k
23 votes
Accepted

Likelihood that a superbug or lethal virus could come from a landfill

Slim. Superbugs seem to come in roughly two flavours... things resistant to treatment, and new diseases our immune systems aren't familiar with. The former comes from places where large numbers of ...
Starfish Prime's user avatar
23 votes

How can a demonic viral infection spread throughout the body without being noticed?

This is known as an Asymptomatic carrier - someone who never shows signs of the infection. This is distinct from an incubatory carrier (not yet showing signs of infection, but does later) or a ...
Chronocidal's user avatar
  • 15.3k
21 votes

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

That approach might work for eradicating most illnesses, however it poses a strong risk for developing autoimmune diseases and allergies. As I explored in a previous question, there are suggestions ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 289k
20 votes

Could a virus that just kills plants be the end of us all?

You wouldn't even need to kill all the plants, if you just killed rice you'd end up doing in most of the human race, a lot through direct starvation but mainly because of the mass migrations and wars ...
Ash's user avatar
  • 44.9k
20 votes
Accepted

How credible is an extremely lethal virus dying out due to genetic inheritance patterns?

Very credible. The thing is that when a virus mutates, it does not stay the same in more than its specific vulnerability to a gene. It, for instance, becomes less lethal and less harmful. This is an ...
Mary's user avatar
  • 29k
17 votes
Accepted

What pandemic could keep the world in isolation near indefinitely?

Step 1: Use a Retrovirus Retroviruses clone themselves from RNA instead of DNA. RNA is less stable than DNA; so, virus that use it for replication mutate MUCH faster than those that use DNA. This ...
Nosajimiki's user avatar
  • 95.2k
17 votes

Can a virus that causes forced evolution exist?

Yes And No As L.Dutch pointed out, retroviruses routinely insert their RNA into the DNA of the host cell. If such a virus were carefully engineered, and targeted germ cells (sperm and eggs), it could ...
jdunlop's user avatar
  • 32k
15 votes

Could a virus that just kills plants be the end of us all?

Assuming that the virus was completely successful in wiping out plants, no, we would have no chance at survival. In reality though, plants are fast adapters and would quickly gain a resistance to the ...
forest's user avatar
  • 2,023
15 votes

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

Good idea, but there are some issues You did say "99.9%", I'm not sure exactly whether my issues are 0.1% or not, but here are the ones I found: Some people have poor immune systems: First - ...
Ash's user avatar
  • 44.2k
15 votes

How would a virus that only kills one sex work?

Have a DNA virus. Y chromosome holders have a gene to make them male so have a virus that binds to this, and produces a toxin that kills the host if the gene is present, or isn't present. It's simple, ...
Nepene Nep's user avatar
  • 39.4k
15 votes

Can a person be immune to all diseases and poisons

Moving the Goalposts Since the general consensus is "not possible" maybe just move the goalposts a bit and think of how it (or something effectively similar) could be made to happen (since ...
JamieB's user avatar
  • 7,642
14 votes

How could a seemingly-harmless virus become deadly at a predetermined date and time?

Real biological systems are precise, but not that precise. You won't be able to do this simply. You could take a lesson from Stuxnet. Stuxnet is one of a family of new hyper-advanced computer ...
Cort Ammon's user avatar
  • 132k
14 votes

Keeping the horde of nanomachines at bay?

The nanovirus can be hacked Since the foundation has figured out how to hack their communications signals, they can purge the homicidal nature from the infected nanites just by getting close to it ...
Nosajimiki's user avatar
  • 95.2k
13 votes
Accepted

Would a virus be able to change eye and hair colour?

(1) Ebola Changed one doctor's eye color from blue to green. Although in this specific case his eye color did change back, the article notes: Though it is quite rare for eye color to change so ...
cegfault's user avatar
  • 7,564
13 votes
Accepted

what makes a disease deadly?

I'm not an epidemiologist, but I do a lot of computer science and at a high level, infection in computer networks and in humans have a lot in common. Ultimately both come down to two factors - ...
Tim B   II's user avatar
  • 54.1k
13 votes
Accepted

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

One. It just needs to affect human thought patterns to drive them into an ecocidal rage... it probably wouldn't be very hard, looking at the current state of things. Think of it as The Screwfly ...
Starfish Prime's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

A virus that causes adipocyte degeneration

Acquired lipodystrophy is real. Lipodystrophy Syndromes: Presentation and Treatment Linked book with much reading and images. In these diseases there is an attack on adipocytes and then various ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
12 votes

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

Obvious naming aside, this is an awful insane movie styles plan. Honestly. The more complicated the plan is the more likely it will fail. Also you can't, not in a million years, cover up something as ...
Seallussus's user avatar
  • 8,342
12 votes
Accepted

Feasibility of the neuro strain

Firstly, when the host is affected, their body will grow bigger than it would have originally been, but not much bigger, only about being 1/2 times bigger. Depends on the host, but if the animal ...
Starfish Prime's user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible