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The Thing

Blood test

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Petri dish containing Windows' blood - The Thing (1982)

Two labelled petri dishes containing suspects' blood, The Thing (1982).

A blood-test is a method of determining whether a suspected individual has been imitated by The Thing. There are several varieties of test which appear throughout the Thing franchise; most typically performed on a blood sample that is usually extracted from a finger incision or a vein in the arm using a needle.

Blood serum test

The blood serum test is a theoretical variant of the blood test which, although hypothesised in the 1982 film The Thing and its 2011 prequel , has never actually been utilized due to sabotage in both films. The simple test involves mixing a suspected imitation's blood with uncontaminated blood; which will hypothetically react if the creature is an imposter. Those performing the test can then observe Thing cells attempting to assimilate the fresh blood.

Self-preservation test

"You see, when a man bleeds, it's just tissue. The blood from one of you Things won't obey when it's attacked. It'll try and survive. Crawl away from a hot needle the same."
― MacReady explains his blood test.[src]

Self-preservation blood tests work by coercing autonomous Thing cells (imitating blood cells) to act in self-preservation - for example, crawling away from a hot needle. The method is first seen in the 1982 film The Thing and appears extensively throughout the Dark Horse Comics series. In a bid to determine the identity of the remaining crew of U.S. Outpost 31, helicopter pilot R.J. MacReady develops a rudimentary blood-test involving a length of heated copper wire and blood samples taken from the men. Noticing how every part of the Norris-Thing had an instinctive desire to survive, MacReady correctly surmised that a creature's blood would attempt to flee from a hot needle. The 2002 video-game, The Thing, adds a further method of 'self-preservation' testing in the blood test hypo - a portable blood testing device which extracts and exposes a suspect's blood to a caustic chemical agent.

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