That sound you heard when you clicked on this article was me quietly sobbing because scientists have found a way to create zombie cells that outperform normal, living ones.
Just kidding. I was totally cleaning my shotgun. (As someone who grew up in the part of Western PA that was George Romero's stomping grounds, I have been preparing since childhood for when the zombies come.)
The news broke a few weeks ago, but there is a surprising number of people who haven't heard about what future civilizations will clearly look back upon as the catalyst for the Zombie Apocalypse.
No surprises, this ill-conceived little experiment was cooked up in a joint collaboration between the University of New Mexico and Sandia National Laboratories, which seems to exist for the sole purpose of finding ways to destroy humanity as we know it.
The process, as it turns out, is terrifyingly simple: Take some mammalian cells (any kind will do), stick 'em in a petri dish, and add silicic acid. The silica solution, for reasons as-yet unknown to researchers (a small detail that will probably KILL US ALL, but I digress), enters the cell without clogging or destroying anything. Then, you crank up the heat to 400 degrees Celsius. The living cell is vaporized, but leaves behind a perfect replica of the silica structure. The hardened structures can survive far greater temperatures and pressures than weak and puny flesh ever could, and can even perform certain functions better than when they were alive.
Scientists claim these aren't able to suddenly turn into brain-eating automatons full of murder and death, but all I am getting from this is that scientists have figured out a way to create zombies that are indestructible. So you can throw all your silly little plans to use flamethrowers to kill slow-minded zombies right out the window, because these things will be fast, high-functioning, and damn near impossible to kill.
Plus, they named them "zombie cells". Not "silica cells" or "fake, but pretty cool cells" or even "hard little M&M shell-type cells". No. Zombie cells. Either scientists are the greatest trolls ever, or they have just confirmed my fears ever since reading The Stand as a child that end of civilization will come in the form of a government lab experiment gone horribly awry.
So do yourselves a favor. When you go out into public today (if you're not busy locking your doors and arming your crossbow, that is), grab the first scientist you can find and punch him or her in the face.
Humanity needs you.