Welcome to the Science of Star Trek, a podcast series inspired by my review of Star Trek, the Original Series in the summer podcast special series Trekking Through Compliance.In this series I am joined by Astrophysicist and Healthcare Futurist Ben Locwin. In this podcast we consider the TOS episode Journey to Babel as a starting point for the consideration of the medicine portrayed in the Original Series.
The Enterprise transports ambassadors to a conference to discuss the admission of Corridon, a star system composed of many mutually combative races, to the Federation. Corridon contains a nearly unlimited supply of dilithium crystals, but its small population and lack of strong government has allowed illegal mining operations by outsiders seeking to exploit its natural resources. To Kirk’s surprise, Sarek the 102.437-year-old ambassador from Vulcan and his his wife Amanda, who is human, are Spock’s parents. Sarek reveals that he has had three previous Vulcan heart attacks and has been taking Bengacydrine to combat it. He requires an open-heart operation, but the ship’s stores do not have a sufficient supply of blood, especially of Sarek’s rare Vulcan T negative blood. Despite the fact that Spock’s blood is a mixture of human and Vulcan factors, he provides a blood transfusion to Sarek after McCoy uses an experimental stimulant to increase the rate of blood production. The Enterprise is then attacked by alien ship while Sarek and Spock are on the operating table, endangering both their lives. Spock, who is recovering from the operation, surmises that the perpetrators were from Orion, since Orions are known to have been smuggling dilithium from Corridon and are anxious to prevent interference.
- Why is the TriCorder such a significant piece of medical technology, even up to today?
- What are the diagnostic aspects of the TriCorder?
- What is augmented reality and how is it being used in medical treatment today?