I often find myself wondering (when I have a spare Minuit.) What are the problems of vampires existing scientifically. I have finally decided to put my ideas into words.
I have not been studying anatomy and physiology for particularly long and it is not my core subject. I also did not refer to my books often because this is for fun, so I may be a little bit off or wrong on some points. I ask you to stick with me in the name of inquisitiveness.
There are many problems with how Vampires would work (or not work) if they were real, indulge me in my somewhat bullet point like ideas as I try to pinpoint some of these.
I am basing my assumptions on the fact that vampires (who were previously human.) Share the same basic anatomy and physiology of human beings.
Vampires are renowned for their fast healing abilities and immortality. Blood plays a big part in this (both red and white cells). White blood cells ensure that the wound is clean of micro-organisms and the clotting of red blood cells is what aids in stopping the bleeding. Blood vessels duplicate themselves to start repairing the site. (They do many other things but I am not listing them.) However the logical line of thought is that vampires do not have their own blood cells. If they were able to produce their own cells they would not need the blood of others. Therefore how can there vessels duplicate themselves, how can the bone marrow produce more blood? Also white blood cells contain DNA – if vampires cannot produce their own then how do they stay immortal? One of the reasons we age is that our body’s capacity for duplicating cells deteriorates. Yet for Vampires to remain ever immortal there production and duplication must be perfect. I am aware that DNA is not only carried in white blood cells, yet if others peoples DNA is being introduced to their system why does there physical appearance stay the same?
If you have a blood transfusion you need a blood type compatible with your own (O is the universal type that is generally accepted by all types.) If for example your type is B and you are transfused with A (I’m simplifying here.) Your blood would recognise the intruder and this would cause the body to launch an attack on what it sees as a threat. Therefore how does new blood keep getting introduced to the system without the previous blood’s antigen recognising an intruder and stimulating the immune system to produce antibodies to fight it? Indeed it could be argued that vampires may lack an immune system and this stops blood being rejected, however how do they live without an immune system? Something in there body - caused by the mutation of human to vampire could possibly remove the antigen. However this exists on the cell membrane and causes me to think that removal of an antigen may cause a cell to break down? And again without it how would the blood fight infection introduced via those big old wounds vamps often get.
I suppose this could be bypassed if, as the blood inside the vampire fails (presumed considering they need to drink blood more than once) the new blood is introduced. However this would have to be carefully timed and there must be a point where the vampire virtually has no ‘live’ blood cells and therefore how are they moving? As far as I know everything in the body requires oxygen and many other things from the blood to work – I.e. the muscles, in order to move.
There are experiments at the moment pertaining to synthetic blood that can be used for any blood type, this leads me to think along the lines of tru:blood. However Vampires are not often seen chugging at a bottle of synthetic blood ever since they were created because real blood doesn’t cut it. However once again, something in the mutation could make the vampires body alter the blood so the antigens do not attack. However if this is the case where is this information stored? Logically it would be in the DNA. If it is the DNA that would lead me to believe the vampires are producing their own cells with the nucleus containing the DNA, however if they can alter their DNA to be this complex and produce their own tissue cells why can they not produce their own blood cells? If they do produce their own tissue cells why is there no blood cells being produced?
This leads me to the main point that most of us at some time or another have questioned. How does drinking the blood help? Surely it just gets passed in urine? Come to think of it has anyone ever read about a vampire taking a loo break?
Nutrient and so on from what we drink is absorbed as it goes down, however blood would not be absorbed, in fact a number of medical conditions are caused by blood leaking into places they shouldn’t be, so if large quantities of blood are being introduced to oesophagus and so on, would it not cause damage? Would it clot on its way down? Not to mention the fact that once it hits the stomach – the place where absorption of things we need starts to take place (however this is mainly to do with food.)The blood would be destroyed by gastric acid. If by some miracle it makes its way into the kidney's it would not be absorbed. The nutrients, liquid, vitamins and so on are passed through the filtration system where they are then absorbed to the bodies capabilities of taking them on. However blood is not passed through here, so it would not be absorbed. However this is presuming the blood is active which at this point it probably is not. So the cells would be dead by then, in which case I can only presume that they may be filtered through and passed as urine, or cause a clot at the filtration site? Of this I am not sure.
The best way of introducing something into the blood stream is via injection. However it is very rare to hear of vampires injecting the blood into themselves and this is not there main way of them getting blood. Again once it reaches the blood system (or stream, the word eludes me) we are faced with the problem of it being rejected. Another way of introducing it to the system, which is often used to ‘change’ a person from human to vampire, is the sharing of blood, often via a cut in the wrist. This would introduce it to the system where once again we are faced with the same problem. (All these theories hit this wall so I will not mention it again but we know it is there.)
A great way of introducing medication to the blood stream is under the tongue. I’m pretty sure diffusion takes place here, although blood would not normally be allowed through here I am presuming the mutation allows this. (diffusion is basically the movement of something from a high concentration to a low concentration. I.e. we breathe in oxygen it diffuses through the capillaries where there is not a lot of oxygen.)
There is another two ways of introducing the blood into the blood stream – both are via diffusion in the capillaries of the lungs. However how do we get the blood into the lungs? When we swallow liquid / food, the epiglottis closes of the larynx so that food / liquid does not enter the lungs. However what if the epiglottis was reversed? And when a vampire swallows it closes over the oesophagus? Of course the way the epiglottis works would have to be changed via mutation and lungs would have to be able to accumulate liquid without failing and the diffusion barrier would have to allow blood to diffuse through. What would happen if they swallowed actual food? And once the blood becomes inactive where does it go?
The last theory that is slightly more possible than the epiglottis moving and so on, is that vampires have something in there saliva that changes blood into some type of airborne element, that when inhaled will diffuse through the capillaries (in the alveolar sacs.) and enter the blood stream. When air is breathed in it bonds with haemoglobin of the blood and this allows it to be transported through the body. Would this blood gas (provided it’s not poisonous or they would have died when breathing it.) attach to the blood already in the vampire? If so where does this 'original' blood come from? Is it the original blood from when they were human being rejuvenated if you will? If this is the case why can a vampire survive severe blood loss when all that can be introduced is gas - that cannot attach to anything? Unless once it is breathed in and enters the blood stream it reverts back to actual blood cells. It could be that vampires ‘blood’ is this type of blood gas, however if this where the case why is it that when cut they bleed? However in some stories it is dust, could this gas be responsible?
The last question I ask is where does the inactive / dead blood cells go? Can they become necrotic? I am not sure. Where exactly do they go? Do they just disintegrate? If it just floats about but cannot be used then why do vampire’s not explode? If they urinate it out then how does blood go from the veins / arteries and pass into the bladder or kidneys?
Maybe I am giving this too much thought.