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In the video game BioHazard or Resident Evil, the T-Virus, or Tyrant-Virus, was the first and primary mutagen virus developed by the Umbrella Corporation. The T-Virus was responsible for the creation of the majority of their Bio-Organic Weapons or BOWs. However, its intended purpose was to create the perfect BOW: the Tyrant.
n 1978 in Arklay Labs. Umbrella saw potential in the recently discovered Ebola virus that had just been found in Africa. The corporation saw limitless potential in the virus due to its nearly 90% death rate. Umbrella was very careful about its research. The Biological Weapons Convention prohibited the research and development of such things. So to get around this obstacle, Umbrella masqueraded their research, saying they were trying to find a cure for it.
However, their research was halted. The Ebola virus proved to be unable to survive outside a human host except for only a few days due to its extreme sensitivity to ultraviolet radiation. It also killed its host too quickly, which limited the chances of the person infecting others. Lastly, the Ebola could only infect with direct contact with others, even furthering limiting the chances of infection.
Umbrella researchers asked themselves: What if a heavily infected host could continue to still be mobile, and what if the host could continue to infect others, as well? This idea would give birth to the T-Virus.
After the development of the Progenitor virus, three men would finally succeed in the creation of the T-Virus on December 4th, 1978 after combining it with leech DNA. These men were Dr. James Marcus, Captain Albert Wesker, and Dr. William Birkin.
The T-Virus would serve as the basis of most of the other viruses developed by the Umbrella Corporation, such as the T-Veronica Virus and the NE-T Virus.
a protein crystal with a DNA core. As the crystal makes contact with a cell's membrane, it destroys it and inserts its DNA into the cell. The cell absorbs the viral genome into its own DNA, which takes over the cell's functions. The cell begins to produce offspring of the original virus. The new viruses are then released from the host cell and infect the neighboring cells, which starts the process all over again.
What the T-Virus does is kills any living mitochondria and replaces the dead ones. The virus then combines with other cells to produce energy. The energy produced is just enough to power the motor neurons and the basic lower brain functions. Not only that, but this bypasses the entire circulatory system, which makes the heart and lung redundant systems that can be disposed of.
However, the T-Virus can only properly function by consuming the cell in order to produce its energy and to divide via mitosis to spread around the body. This slow breakdown of cells leads to the necrotising effects seen on most BOWs. The virus also incorporates itself into the host's RNA, which substantially alters it. This is why creatures, such as the bees and spiders, only have very minor mutation, such as increased size, when compared to the human mutation caused by the virus. This is due to their lower stance in the evolutionary chain.
Should the host be alive at the time of T-Virus infection, all higher brain functions are destroyed as the virus simply dissolves away the frontal lobes. This leaves only the telencephalon, better known as the cerebrum, to govern behavior. This leaves the infected host with a very animalistic behavior. As the virus spreads, it damages the hypothalamus. This produces a massive flood of neurotransmitters, enzymes, and hormones such as norepinephrine and dopamine. These effects, combined with the painful symptoms of the infection, induces a psychotic rage, persistent hunger, and increased aggressiveness in those infected.
Should the host be dead at the time of infection, only enough energy is produced to power the lower brain functions. These functions are responsible for the most primal instincts, such as walking and eating.
The T-Virus seems capable of many ways to infect someone or something. The T-Virus can infect a host by:
- Direct injection. Most of Umbrella's experimentations with the T-Virus was done through direct injection of the virus into the host. This was considered Umbrella’s “primary means” of infection.
- Water. Evidence suggested that the scientists and researchers in Spencer Estate mansion were infected once the T-Virus got into the water supply.
- Airborne. There is some dispute over the fact whether the T-Virus is actually airborne or not. However, when the virus broke out in the Spencer Estate, all had to wear chemical protection suits, leading credence that the virus is in fact an airborne pathogen. Some believe that if the virus is airborne, that it is airborne for a very short period of time. (However, in the movie, the T-Virus is indeed airborne.)
- Contact with open wounds. Any direct contact with the T-Virus on a recently opened wound will cause infection.
- Attack. Anyone attacked by an infected host will have the virus transferred to them. A bite, scratch, gash, or stab will transfer the virus. Umbrella said this was a “secondary means” of infection.
The primary reason for the infection in Raccoon City is believed to be from rats and fleas that had become contaminated. The rats had became infected in the sewers that were connected to the Spencer Estate and fleas through contact of the rats. Thus, we can reasonably assume that the poor were first infected and then spread it through the city.
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