An anonymous reader writes "For all fans that follow The Walking Dead, it turns out the dead may indeed outperform the living. Scientists have created "zombie" mammalian cells that function better after they die. Although creating "zombie" cells may seem like a dubious endeavor, it has quite a few practical applications. Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories and the University of New Mexico coated a cell with a silica solution. This created a near-perfect replica of the structure that could simplify a wide variety of commercial fabrication processes. In fact, the process allowed the researchers to preserve cells down to the minor grooves of its DNA."