The science behind blood thirsty vampires

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Washington, November 26 (ANI): A new article in FOXnews.com has analyzed in a scientific manner whether vampires could have ever existed, and how accurate are their depiction in the movies nowadays.

The first fact that the article discusses is about vampires avoiding sunlight.

Vampires are commonly depicted as creatures of the dark, being highly sensitive to sunlight. This is the case for people afflicted with porphyria, a well-known condition that makes one allergic to the sun.

When exposed to the sun, people with porphyria develop burning blisters and swelling of the skin.

Porphyria is extremely rare, of course, but not so its milder cousin, polymorphic light eruption, which is a type of allergic reaction characterized by the formation of bumpy and itchy rashes on sun-exposed skin.

The second fact discussed is how vampires are considered to be immortal.

According to Dr. Katherine Ramsland, who teaches forensic psychology at DeSales University and wrote the book, "The Science of Vampires", there is science to explain this aspect of the myth, noting research on what scientists call "immortalized cells."

The aging process is partly predicated on the lifespan of our cells; as long as they continue dividing, we remain young, and structures in our cells called telomeres play a part in cellular division.

Ramsland explained that "through the activity of an enzyme known as telomerase, the youth-preserving activity of the telomeres can be extended. In other words, there's an actual chemical in our cells that may hold the secret to eternal youth, and if so, it may explain how vampires can live forever."

A popular issue that is discussed in the article is about vampires drinking blood.

Mosquitoes, bats and other creatures drink blood, but humans rarely do, unless they have an iron deficiency such as anemia, according to Dr. Manuel Alvarez, managing editor for health at FoxNews.com.

Dr. Manny notes that pica, the pattern of eating non-foods or even blood, can result from anemia.

This may not explain the vampire mythology, but it could explain one of the characteristics associated with the creatures.

As far as killing humans is concerned, physicists Costas J. Efthimiou and Sohang Gandhi argue a good case against vampires, based on the hard facts of physics.

The pair has worked out a mathematical formula to describe the number of humans left after x months of vampirism.

"We conclude that if the first vampire appeared on January 1st of 1600 AD, humanity would have been wiped out by June of 1602, two and a half years later," they said.

"We conclude that vampires cannot exist, since their existence contradicts the existence of human beings," they added. (ANI)

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