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Are Vampires Real? Of Course Not, But . . .

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Halloween season wouldnt be what it is without the undead. This week on Reactions, we unpack the chemistry that may have inspired one of our favorites: the vampire. When you think vampire some of todays most popular vampires might come to mind. Attractive bloodsuckers with pale, sometimes sparkling skin. But in the 18th and 19th centuries, when European vampire lore first really took off, they were a bit more...morose and, instead of that crystal-clear skin, they appeared kind of sickly with a reddish complexion. Vampires were often depicted as men from poor, rural areas, who, after dying--often from diseases like the plague--would emerge from their coffins to wreak havoc on a nearby town, sucking the blood of humans, turning them into vampires as well. So how did this folklore come about? Possibly...disease.


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Producer: Elaine Seward
Writer: Samantha Jones, Ph.D.
Scientific Consultants: Scott Norton, Ph.D. Rodney Willoughby, Ph.D. Kristin Omberg, Ph.D., Hans Plugge, Ph.D., Leila Duman, PhD Brianne Raccor, PhD

Executive Producer: George Zaidan
Production Manager: Hilary Hudson


Immunity of fleas

Fleas and plague

Plague history

Fleas and potential for bioterrorism

Lyme borreliosis

Medicinal leeches

Clinical use of leeches;year=2011;volume=57;issue=1;spage=65;epage=71;aulast=Porshinsky#ref2

Bed bugs and pathogens

Bed bug pheromones

Vampire bats and rabies

The vampire in medical perspective: myth or malady?

Rabies and vampire lore

Tick saliva

Hydrophobia and rabies

Ever wonder why dogs sniff each others' butts? Or how Adderall works? Or whether it's OK to pee in the pool? We've got you covered: Reactions a web series about the chemistry that surrounds you every day.

Produced by the American Chemical Society. Join the American Chemical Society!

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