The real threat of any zombie sickness is defined by the speed and direction of its spread, so being able to determine where exactly an outbreak will start would have a profound impact on our ability to minimize the damage. Researchers at Princeton University are trying to do just that, by forecasting the origins of deadly infections like zombieism.
The study found that different populations of the same animal species respond differently when fighting disease in the wild. Using radio transmitters to record fever and sickness behaviors in birds, their ultimate goal is to build a predictive model of the locations where diseases carried by animals and humans are most likely to take hold.
Biologist Lynn Marti elaborates:
“This discovery has many implications, from predicting when and where new diseases might emerge, to understanding seasonal cycles of disease in animal and even human populations.”
Though this research is in an early stage, results thus far have been promising. With continued support from the National Science Foundation, the Princeton team may someday have a workable system for identifying zombie outbreak danger zones.
Like all other aspects of zombie research, it’s a race against time.