SciFi Ideas Podcast Episode#5.1

In this episode of the SciFi Ideas podcast (which was cut from the end of episode #5) we talk about medical technology in science fiction, prolonged lifespans, and population control.

Thanks to Chris Kentlea of Ennead Games Roleplaying Resources for suggesting this discussion topic.

What should we talk about in the next episode? Let us know in the comments!

  • John H Reiher Jr

    Some thoughts on this podcast. Larry Niven covered a lot of this topic in his Known Space series: Birth Lotteries, Autodocs, longevity, et. al.

    Another take on the autodoc is the device that rebuilt Leeloo from a hand in the 5th Element.

    As for printed organs, they will have to compete with a method where they take an organ, like the heart, wash out the cells, leaving behind a collagen “scaffolding”. Stem cells are injected into the collagen, recognize where it is and grow a new heart.

    • Yeh, I wanted to talk about the heart they made, but I couldn’t remember how they did it. Poor preparation on my part, I guess. Thanks for sharing the link!

      A lot of this is basic stuff. By this point we’d already been recording for over an hour, and I think it was nearly midnight, so we were just listing “cool medical stuff” 🙂

      I’m only just coming to realize what a master Niven is. Can’t believe I’ve never read any of his book before!

  • Vanessa Ravencroft

    “Good morning Mr. Ball. I am PARACELCUS, the human avatar interface of Med Central. As I understand you are visiting us from
    the 21st century, Pre Astro right?”

    “Yes, this is a follow up on a podcast I did on possible future medicine and I was sort of dragged here by the Artistic Freedom Module of Vanessa Ravencroft. One minute I am there, minding my website and the next I find myself here, wherever it is. I assume correctly, this isn’t Kansas anymore right?”
    “You are correct, Mr. Ball, however GalNet lists 45,545 entries on the term Kansas and 45,530 are locations. You arecurrently at Med Central, the focal point and center of Union medical science and this glass and marble hall is the main lobby of the Med Central Hospital –Carbon Bio Form department. Later and if you like another tour we can visit departments where Non Carbon bio forms are treated. Are you ready to begin?”

    The humanoid male, from the looks of it of Terran descent without any apparent cyber or gene crafts followed the hard light field projection of a German alchemist and physician of the dark ages through a gleaming spotless lobby of bright whites and light blues. He estimated the place to be at least 200 meters in every direction and the ceiling perhaps 20 meters above the ground.

    The floor was made of a polished stone tile, nothing very special about that, but the projected apparition of a historical character invited him to follow on what it
    called a slide belt.

    Basically a moving sidewalk, like the Jetsons had, however he felt an almost unnoticeable support almost like invisible hands.

    Paracelsus explained. “Each slide belt segment has a little form field projector
    preventing momentum making you fall, or trip. It analyzes your movements to
    predict your intentions, like getting off and on.”

    “Why a slide belt aren’t we in the future. Can you not beam? I mean teleporters and the like?”

    “While I am not entirely sure how to formulate your question to GalNet in order to get a satisfactory answer. There are psionic gifted individuals who are able to create a Trans spatial shortcut, and in essence teleport. The core worlds are connected via a trans matter tunnel network, no transport system for buildings utilizing Trans spatial methods exist at current times.”

    The Aavatar and his literary hi-jacked guest stopped as a group of doctors passed by.

    The man form the 21st century had no names for some of the
    beings in that group, but he was certain they were doctors from the way they
    acted and the flair of importance. Some things seemed never to change,
    regardless the times.

    The Avatar and he had reached some sort of shop. It was designed in modern clean lines but the elements shelf and sales counter were easy to identify.

    The Avatar took an item from a shelf that looked a little like a smart phone with a wrist strap.

    “This is a SII- GalNet enabled PDD with Auto Doc function.

    We have reached the year 5050 in OTT, that is Old Terran Time and the time keeping system you are familiar with.
    Modern medical science researches ways to treat ailments, diseases and injuries to all our Non-human Union members.
    We can treat almost any injury by molecular printing or re-growing.
    While we can regrow and clone any DNA based organism,
    perform a brain dump and in doing so preserve all knowledge and memories, it is against Union law to re-animate someone who died. The brain must be active for any medical procedures.

    The Anti-Cloning Act strictly prohibits cloning of sentient beings and only allows partial cloning like the growing of an arm and restricts genetic tailoring.

    Regrow is assisted by molecular printing, such as skin, hair,
    bones, cartilage.

    This Auto Doc unit can monitor and analyze your state of
    health, perform first aid and synthesize a range of pre-programmed drugs.

    The military Auto Doc version is much more sophisticated and
    also a tad bigger. It includes self-replicating nanites, able to carry drug
    molecules directly to the source, remove blockages and wave tissue by
    re-arranging molecules into the needed matter. Nanite assisted Auto Docs can treat a wide range of diseases and almost any injury.

    Injuries or diseases that exceed the capacity of an Auto Doc
    are treated in Union Med Centers. Patients are placed in stasis until treatment
    can be affected.

    Auto Docs like this one are in contact with Med Central via
    GalNet and can if needed consult expert advice.

    Within Union space and within reach of an Avatar enabled GalNet terminal an expert can assist via Tele presence and perform surgical procedures or perform an expert diagnosis.

    These Avatars are a three dimensional images emitted from a projector ball and projected against the inside of a form energy field, mass and
    weight are simulated by micro-grav.

    The biggest challenge to medicine are Union members that do
    not meet the BaPhy (Basic Physical) standards.

    Any questions so far?”