Thursday, July 28, 2016

Star Trek Tricorder

Do you remember the Star Trek Tricorders? No not the phasers (always set to stun) but the tricorders that could diagnose people instantly of cancer or all sorts of other ailments. Dr whatshisname had one. I would love it if they were available to diagnose me and skip all the medical misadventures that make our lives so 'fun'. But it is really possible? I don't know at this point.

Google's biotech section, Verily, said that they could develop one in six months. That was three years ago and it still doesn't exist. (Who woulda thunk?)  And based on what has been said by a former employee that if employees said it was a bit 'out there' they were frozen out of future decisions.

"Tricorder is not the only misfire for Google’s ambitious and extravagantly funded biotech venture, now named Verily Life Sciences. It has announced three signature projects meant to transform medicine, and a STAT examination found that all of them are plagued by serious, if not fatal, scientific shortcomings, even as Verily has vigorously promoted their promise.

The Tricorder, as Conrad and others at Verily call the device, is “in the realm of not only science fiction, but beyond that — science fantasy,” said David Walt, a Tufts University chemistry professor and nanoscience expert who met with Verily scientists and engineers last year to share his concerns. “And I’m not sure it will ever be science reality.”"

Science fiction or science reality?

"Verily appears to be having more success with less world-changing projects, but it still chooses to showcase its most ambitious ones — perhaps, some critics suggest, to promote itself as a company poised to defeat disease.

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