Science of The Strain
While the strigoi aversion to sunlight, silver and running water are an existential bane imposed upon them through their accursed origins, some of those effects (among others) nevertheless mimic processes observed in nature and are partly amenable to scientific explanation. However, the equivalent reactions found in nature are supernaturally exaggerated when applied to strigoi, in accordance with their otherworldly and accursed natures. The dramatic outcomes exhibited by the vampire would require extraordinary levels of energy under normal or natural circumstances.
- 1 Viral Agency
- 1.1 Experimental:
- 2 The Sun
- 3 Silver
- 3.1 Collodial Silver
- 4 Undead Condition
- 5 The Hive Mind
- 6 Trivia
Viral Agency [ edit | edit source ]
Infiltration of the vampiric virus upon a cell
Both the book and televised series only allude to, but do not describe, the viral agency. That is, the nature of the viral disease or infection behind any transformation of vampire hosts. While typical viruses are relatively simple in that they possess specific functionality, the strigoi virus exhibits unusual complexity for a retrovirus, which is a virus that can integrate its DNA and transform the host rather than merely hijack the cellular machinery to replicate innumerable copies of itself.
This multi-functional ability suggests it belongs to the class of giant viruses , that is, it contains a significantly larger genetic code base than typical viruses. Such capacity for functional complexity affords a broad scope for rewriting disparate regions of a host’s genetic makeup, resulting in systemic transformation of the organism.
The retroviral transformation may be achieved by the infusion of “the white” from the vampire throughout the host body. This fluid would act as a methylating agent, which weakens the rigid adherence to genetic instructions involved in cell function, inducing pluripotence in cells, that is the ability to transform into special types of cells. These resulting stem cells enable the reprogramming of its underlying cellular machinery. Although the process of runaway or unregulated methylation often leads to formation of cancers, the intervention of overriding instructions can redirect the expression of genetic material for the creation of new organs. For instance, the stinger is a new organ created by the strigoi virus. It is a six foot long tentacle-like appendage, that shoots out of the strigoi’s mouth and is for feeding.
In this manner, the strigoi virus would use its own genetic instructions to repurpose functions in the host towards vampiric ends. It is possible that the worms contain additional payloads of raw genetic material to augment the instuctions carried by a strigoi virus. Immortality can be practically derived from the indefinite regeneration of cellular structures through continual presence of “the white” and virus operating in vampires.
Experimental: [ edit | edit source ]
Through the wonders of genetic engineering, it is possible to mate select micro-organism to produce off-spring with desirable characteristics, which is known as artificial selection (as opposed to natural selection, where off-spring are created without the interference of man). In this case, it was bred with the following traits : 1) Minimal deleterious effects to Humans 2) Fatal to Strigoi yet transmissible to the rest of its cohort population. This process was used to produce a bio-weapon which is neurotoxic. That is, it was created to feed on cerebrospinal fluid, which prevents cells from communicating with each other, as well as other strigoi.
[Any “scientific” logic given on the show will have to be interpreted and incorporated.]
The Sun [ edit | edit source ]
In ‘The Strain’ saga, the sun is a symbol of the Face of God and an anathema to vampires, shown as a highly energetic thermal excitation of the vampire molecular structure due to sun exposure (literally burst into flames). Sunlight radiates energy at a wide range of frequencies, including ultraviolet (UV) rays that damage genetic material, or DNA, to inhibit cellular reproduction necessary for the propagation of pathogens.
While strong UV rays from the sun scarcely makes it through the atmosphere, it can be artificially generated by specialized lamps. Ultraviolet, in the higher frequency range such as Ultraviolet C rays (or UV-C for short) is especially favored as a means for combating vampires. Strong UV rays, which disrupts bonds at the molecular level, is naturally effective against microbes and would have comparable effects on vampire pathogens.
As depicted in ‘The Night Eternal’, the wrath of the Face of God was also expressed in the destruction of the ancient cities of Sadum and Amurah (also known as Sodom and Gomorrah):
“God’s face was revealed and His light burned [the cities] in a flash.” (from ‘The Night Eternal’)
Nuclear power, compared to other energy generation methods, comes closest to the output of the Sun. Nuclear fission, the means by which we derive nuclear power, is the process of breaking apart atoms to release large amounts of energy, which is sufficient for annihilating vampiric sites of origin, thereby eradicating their strains. This disintegration at an atomic level would thoroughly scour traces of the vampiric essence or matrix imprinted into the sites.
Silver [ edit | edit source ]
Silver releases free molecules or ions of the element when in contact with water and organic fluids to become biologically active and interact with amino-based products. It is absorbed and metabolized by the humans, binding with metal-attracting proteins that transport zinc, and excreted through the liver and kidneys with little side-effect unless an allergy to silver exists. Silver acts as an absorbent for, that is it captures, sulfur as mentioned in the Season 1 episode “For Services Rendered”:
“Silver is known to interfere with sulfur bonds in bacteria.” – Nora Martinez
While silver poses low toxicity and risk to humans, certain bacteria and possibly fungi may be genetically susceptible to silver interfering with their enzyme production. A similar biological reaction to silver may be supernaturally present in strigoi. Regardless of the debated status on the medical effectiveness of silver, the retention of silver in the body associated with chronic intake of colloidal silver would prove disagreeable to vampires.
Collodial Silver [ edit | edit source ]
Prophylactic against Strigoi Worm Infestation: The following passage speculates on the usage of Colloidal silver in order to acquire immunity to the Strigoi Worm, the symbiote organism that can infect individuals that comes in contact a Strigoi vampire. The worms can tunnel directly into the skin, leaving the victim helpless to stop it. The question here is how effective would a dose of colloidal silver be against such an attack.
Tolerance and Optimum Dose : Colloidal silver (silver suspended in liquid medium) has been marketed and used for many years as antiseptic agent and is apparently well tolerated. Continued and excessive use however leads to a condition known as ‘blue man syndrome’, where the user’s skin will eventually turn grayish blue. Since colloidal silver absorption appears to be cumulative, research is necessary to determine the optimum dose required to repel the worms, hopefully without having to take on the complexion of a smurf.
Undead Condition [ edit | edit source ]
The vampire host body plausibly would not survive the virulent biological change due to rigor and trauma involved in the radical and rapid transformation. Essentially, the host dies to be reanimated as a strigoi. The notion of vampires having to create life by taking life (instead of procreating) or reading the host ‘s memories like a book is consistent with the vampires as automatons or philosophical zombies, which are hypothetical beings containing no consciousness but are otherwise indistinguishable from sentient beings.
Although physiologically complete and functional, the entity that emerges from such a process of zombification would require external direction or motivation. Such forces actuating the body can be construed to arise on two orders: at the level of the worms and at the level of the Ancients.
To puppeteer this undead state, neurochemicals would have to be released by the worms to regulate a variety of pathways in the host, from metabolic to motor, like an eminently more subtle and fine-tuned version of frog limbs being galvanized in a laboratory. Various behavioral overrides can be observed in the natural world with a diverse array of behavior-altering parasites.
The worms appear to be linked to the Ancients as a throng or army of miniature transceivers (which transmit/receive signals) channeling their wills. When either an Ancient or its infesting worms die, control over the hosts ceases and the vampires becomes inert bodies, effectively “dying” again.
The Hive Mind [ edit | edit source ]
As automatons, vampires would be equipped with means for being remotely controlled by the Ancient, either through a specialized organ or through the worms themselves, directed by exchanges of a typically pheromonal or bioelectric nature.
The high levels of fidelity required for information governing the complex, real-time behavior in vampires rule out the slow rate of pheromonal transfer as a means of response (In other words, how do these creatures talk to each other). Accordingly, use of the electromagentic field is to be expected. With the case of electromagnetic communication, developing equipment to fix on the source of transmission is relatively simple, thereby tracking and intercepting a controlling Ancient.
A point of criticism arising with the controlling of vampire hosts through conventional propagation of signals is that, when an Ancient is destroyed, all of its strain instantaneously disintegrates and not merely deactivated. This obliteration is not consistent with stoppage or breaks in electromagnetic transmissions or even pheromonal emissions, unless the vampire hosts possess a self-destruct mechanism in their biological makeup. It ought to be critically noted that the televised series has depicted dead strigoi exposed to daylight without evidence of disintegration, particularly when Justine Feraldo displayed the suspect remains during a live press conference.
Lastly, entering the realm of metaphysics and stretching the limits of information theory (comprehension and transmission thereof) or philosophy of mind (capabilities) consideration of the angelic origins of strigoi suggests an alternative notion, where vampires are imbued with an overarching directive or sentience. Given that angels are pure mind or spirit, these intelligences constitute some information field shared among the Ancients and their strains (imagine something resembling the fictional “intrinsic field” in Alan Moore’s ‘Watchmen’.) Once the information source or matrix is destroyed at a site of origin, the essence of all vampires bound to that strain deconstructs, resulting in their physical disintegration.
While the strigoi aversion to sunlight, silver and running water are an existential bane imposed upon them through their accursed origins, some of those effects (among others) nevertheless mimic processes observed in nature and are partly amenable to scientific explanation. However, the…
David Bradley as Abraham Setrakian
Kevin Durand as Vasiliy Fet
Jonathan Hyde as Eldritch Palmer
Richard Sammel as Thomas Eichorst
Natalie Brown as Kelly Goodweather
Miguel Gomez as Augustin ‘Gus’ Elizalde
Max Charles as Zach Goodweather
Ruta Gedmintas as Dutch Velders
Rupert Penry-Jones as Quinlan
Samantha Mathis as Justine Feraldo
Joaquín Cosio as Angel Guzman Hurtado
“Bad White” is the second episode of third season of The Strain. It first aired on September 4, 2016.
Summary [ edit | edit source ]
In Morningside Harlem StoneHeart scientists are experimenting on vampires’s blood to see if the white blood could help people’s dieases and illness. One of the scientist walks over to the room were they are experimenting on a old woman. They injected the vampire blood on to her. As the blood was injected she started to have seizures and also her heart rate was going up on the life support machine. As her heart rate starts to go really high the doctor shoots her in the head. At Mayfield Hotel Vasiliy Fet is drinking in the hotel’s bar talking to one of the surviving navy seals. The solider talks about the aftermath in the church. He tells Fet that his command is pulling out of New York. Fet angrily says that his squad were very close to finding the Master. The solider then said that he lost 6 good soliders and saying he’s got nothing to show for. At the end of the conversation he said that he is going to Washington D.C to fight the outbreak. Vasiliy Fet asks for another drink. Kate Nelson starts to have a conversation with Vasiliy Fet how the vampires are adapting an d getting more stronger. After that they finshed their drinks and headed up stairs to a hotel room to have sex. When it was morning Fet kisses her goodbye to go off his HQ. Eph is seen driving down manhattan looking for the address to find Fet and Setrakian. Once he get inside he finds Quinlan he shoots at him Quinlan then speeds down at him and tries to choke him Fet comes in and sees them. Vasiliy Fet tells Quinlan that he’s one theirs. Ephraim Goodweather sits down and talks about Nora Martinez’s death underground and how Kelly took Zack without turning him. Abraham Setrakian tells Eph that the Master will use Zach Goodweather. Abraham Setrakian tries to take his pills but in frustration he drops them. Meanwhile somewhere underground Manhattan. Zack is playing with his ball. Kelly walks in bringing in books. Zack tells Kelly that he wants to go outside but Kelly says that he will. Zack said to her that she always say that but she never did. Dutch Velders is walking down a street in Willamsburg with her friends. Braden tells everyone that they are going raid a condo. Dutch Velders tells him that Justine Feraldo’s cops hasn’t cleared the part of Manhattan that their in yet. Dutch asks her friends if they ever raided a skyscraper before?. Braden tells them that the building has 42 floors. Dutch said that there is 42 floors of vampires inside and says it’s stupid. They then head inside. Meanwhile in Stoneheart Headquarters Eldritch Palmer’s nurse gives him a pill and tells him that he is not in a good condition to make a meeting. Thomas Eichhorst then comes in and tezes him about Coco Marchand. Thomas Eichhorst asks him about how many people donated their blood and hands him an ipad. Thomas Eichhorst says it’s unaceptable Eldritch Palmer repiles that he could’t force people into donating their blood. Thomas Eichhorst said that Justine Feraldo can Eldritch Palmer says that she dose’nt anwser to him. Thomas gives him an idea to influence her to do it. Eldritch Palmer says that he will attend to it right a way. Thomas Eichhorst grabs Coco Marchand’s heart in a jar and tries to drop it but Eldritch Palmer stops him. Eldritch Palmer asks him to give him the white again but Thomas says that rewards must be earned. Dutch and her friends are going up the elevator to the top floor as they come up Braden talks loud and Dutch tells him to be quiet. As they come in Braden turns on the blinds and walks up to the kitchen to loot for food. Dutch Velders looks at the window in horror as her two friends Ron and Kimberly walks into a bedroom. Ron tells Kimbery to check under the bed. Kimberly then tells him back to check under the bed and Ron did. Ron looks under and suddenly got stung in the neck. Kimberly sees that Ron is checking the bed long. Kimberly screamed and also got stung in the neck too. Dutch and Braden rushed to go in the room. They come in Dutch shoots the strigoi in the head and shoots the one under the bed she shoots but she misses. Another vampire comes in behind Braden and almost stings him Braden hits the vampire and runs out. Dutch runs out of ammo and throws it at the vampire. Dutch sliced off the vampire’s stinger off as she decapitates the vampire. She runs out of the apartment to see another vampire down the hall. The vampire missed and as Dutch starts to run but the vampire pulled her back she quickly pulled out a knife and stabbed the vampire then throws the vampire out in front of the sunlight. Then she runs out of the building. Abraham Setrakian is reading the Occido Lumen. Eph argues about how using a spell to defeat the master is not gonna work. Abraham Setrakian tells them that to defeat the master must take place in another ecilpse which was in 2024. In Stoneheart offices Eldritch Palmer is watching a clip of what happend during the oparation in harlem. Eldritch Palmer is seemingly angry after seeing the video. The doctor tells him the blood caused bad symptoms for the test subject. Eldritch Palmer told him that he gave them food and shelter. The doctor reminds him that money cannot change biology. Eldritch Palmer also tells him he had seen it work good but the doctor told Eldritch Palmer the evidence. Eldritch Palmer reminds him that he’s the one to provide him the evidence. The doctor yells at him that there is none. At the end of their conversation the doctor tells him that the blood is toxic to humans. At the headquarters Eph is at the bar as Quinlan questions him about being here. Quinlan tells him the events of history proving that he lived for a long time. Quinlan asks him about being here and Eph said he was asking the same thing too. In Bushwick Braden is seen putting some food in a fridge him and his friends talk about the end of the world. When Dutch Velders comes in complaing about how they did’t help her. Braden and Dutch got into a little fight soon discovering that Braden is infected. Braden and his friends start to panic Dutch tells them it’s their problem now after 5 seconds she came back decapitating Braden as her friends gasp in horror as she left. Abraham Setrakian and Eph are talking about getting Zach back Fet comes in tells them about Rudyard Fonescu making a meeting under the highline. Abraham acepted the dead and when to go to the meeting to see Rudyard Fonescu. But it turned out to be Eldritch Palmer. Eldritch Palmer tried to make a deal to get vampire blood from Abraham. But Abraham deined his offer then left. Kelly Goodweather brings Zack some food. After she gave him food Kelly went outside. Zack then comes out of the room to follow where she went. Zack then discovers her drinking blood from a child that looked like Zack. Zack looked in horror as he ran. He started to run out of breath Kelly and The Master helped him as they put vampire blood into his mouth. Eph is seemingly to look for something around their headquarters Quinlan sees him as he questions him again about him being here. Eph repiles by saying “My son”. Quinlan offers out to help him Eph then looks at him and closes the UVC light as the episode ends.
"Bad White" is the second episode of third season of The Strain. It first aired on September 4, 2016. In Morningside Harlem StoneHeart scientists are experimenting on vampires's blood to see if the white blood could help people's dieases and illness. One of the scientist walks over to the room…