A Terrifying Biohazard: Did the virus evolve? [Resident Evil 7/ RE7]

The virus has been a recurring theme in Resident Evil. Born from the Progenitor Virus, this thing is known to create feared, man-eating monsters.

 What virus are we talking about?

In the old Resident Evil Games, there’s always a virus. There’s the T-virus, C-virus, and many others that have turned the populace into man-eating dead-and-alive people. This pathogen drives any human or any living creature infected insane to the point they live purely on instinct and focus on one thing: eating. And unfortunately for the players, they’re the ones next on the menu. But the thing is, when will this virus go down? Or the far more terrifying question is, is the virus evolving?

But viruses can’t evolve!

Au contraire, they actually can. What these things do is that they perform something known as Viral Evolution which involves them rewriting the protein strain in the DNA. However, a particular kind of virus known as an RNA virus are more prone to mutation. Because of these mutations, they influence even the replication process of the host cell. And for basic science, cells can reproduce in two ways: mitosis or meosis.

The long story short is, the virus can evolve. And to make things worse, it has varied transmissions since its last evolution. It not only does cell to cell transmission but also through insects, rodents, bodily fluids and worse: airborne. And it’s evident from the Progenitor Virus, considering how many strains there are.

Nature of the Virus

virus
Source: Resident Evil Wikia

The Progenitor Virus is quick-acting, able to enter the cells completely undetected via cell-transport. They infect through your immune system (if you want to be nerdy about it, specifically the B cells.). Upon entering, the virus releases an enzyme to create a complimentary strand of DNA that can mix with the host’s DNA. It uses not only its RNA genome as a template but also its host’s DNA. This is to ensure that when the cells begin to process the DNA, it can slip in undetected.

The next part is when it uses a membrane protein to block any chances of the body’s anti-virus from activating. By doing so, the body is unable to defend itself and the immune system cannot denature or destroy the proteins either.

So, how can you prove that this virus evolved?

In the demo, there were some signs that Umbrella might be involved in the latest release of Resident Evil 7. Not only does this show that Umbrella may have a nose in this latest plot but, it implicates them further that they could have caused the virus to evolve. And it’s not just from the Progenitor strain, it could possibly be an evolution from one of the most recent viruses: the N-T Virus.

Umbrella
Source: Resident Evil 7 Demo Umbrella Logo

Also, the one thing to notice is that our current antagonists, the Bakers, show no signs of necrosis. In fact, they have increased strength, a sense of self, and the one thing that Umbrella has desperately tried to attain: immortality. It doesn’t help either that throughout the game they are what the fans called “bullet-sponges”, making them virtually invincible. What makes them similar however to the zombies is that their very survival demands that they live on human entrails. In other words, guts.

But what caused its evolution? Other than Umbrella possibly meddling with it, the Progenitor is RNA-based which would make the rest of its strains RNA-based. An RNA virus has only a single strand of proteins, making them more prone to chemical change. Some lose their potency; others become develop into a variety of strains. And since the RNA is a chain of proteins, changing a single protein can change the entire sequence. Unfortunately for us, players, the RNA chain of either the Progenitor or the N-T strain created a sequence that not only prevents the cells from dying but causes them to regenerate at abnormal rates.

So what does this mean?

This means we’re going to have a lot to deal with when Resident Evil 7 comes out. You’re stuck in a mansion full of immortal cannibals. Not to mention they also have sociopathic tendencies. Let’s not forget that they’re trying to “make you one of the family”. But this now begs the question: where did they get the pathogen? Why did Umbrella choose these crazy people? Most of all, does Umbrella really have a hand in it at all? We can only find out when the game releases on January 24. With that…

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