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Fantastic Voyage Microrocket Technology Coming To a Body Near You

Soulskill posted 1 year,13 days | from the i'll-order-a-dozen dept.

Science 19

coondoggie writes "In the 1966 science fiction classic Fantastic Voyage, a tiny submarine with a crew of five is miniaturized and injected into a comatose man to surgically laser a blood clot in his brain and save his life. At this week's American Chemical Society Nanoengineering expert Joseph Wang detailed his latest work in developing micromotors and microrockets that are so small that thousands would fit inside this 'o'. Such machines could someday perform microsurgery, clean clogged arteries or transport drugs to the right place in the body. But there are also possible uses in cleaning up oil spills, monitoring industrial processes and in national security."

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19 comments

the movie better than the book? (1)

iggymanz (596061) | 1 year,13 days | (#43416829)

Isaac Asimov was approached and agreed to write a novel from the movie, but he was so embarrassed about the logical and scientific fallacies of the whole tale even though his version fixed a few. The book was released before the movie so everyone thought the film was based on his novel.

Re:the movie better than the book? (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,13 days | (#43416977)

He was actually so embarrassed that he later rewrote the whole story into another novel of the same name. I quite enjoyed the (newer) novel, despite what the few Amazon reviewers may think.

Re:the movie better than the book? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#43417171)

Plus, this guy's last name is WANG.

What a dick!

Re:the movie better than the book? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#43419255)

I had a housemate in college whose name was Richard Wang.

Innerspace was far superior movie.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#43416857)

Can we get a Roomba that doesn't get stuck in the corner before we start talkin about shootin rockets into our arteries please???

I won't click on that (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#43417005)

A link that promises to lead me to an 'o' where many things can fit? Thanks, Slashdot, but I think I know that one.

Fantastic Voyage: read the book (1)

steveha (103154) | 1 year,13 days | (#43417173)

Slightly off topic, but I recommend the novelization of Fantastic Voyage [google.com] . It is the one novelization I have read that was actually better than the movie from which it was taken. This is because it was written by Isaac Asimov in his prime.

There are all sorts of weird little things in the movie that are explained in the book. Like, why can the mission only take 60 minutes? And, at the end, whatever happened to the submarine?

(There was one scene from the movie that was just too stupid to explain, so Asimov simply left it out of the novelization. There's a scene where a box is brought on board, and someone asks what is in the box. "Oh, that's our atomic particle. We are going to be so small that we can run our nuclear reactor on one particle." Yeah, no.)

Years later, Asimov wrote a sequel. I tried reading it and couldn't get through it. His writing style had changed a lot, and I didn't care for it. So I only recommend the original book.

National security (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | 1 year,13 days | (#43417317)

But there are also possible uses in cleaning up oil spills, monitoring industrial processes and in national security."

I read that and the first thing I thought was... after the robots kill the protesters, they'll just crawl out of their ear and shimmy into the storm drain. But then I realized, who am I kidding? The government would never do something like that.

National security huh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#43418031)

Always with the bigger, better weapons and such, whether they're needed or not or even if there are consequences to developing such powerful weapons when there's almost no one to kill with them...nobody but us dissenters, of course.

The terrorists and serial killers are way too unimaginative to be a serious national threat.

water as fuel (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | 1 year,13 days | (#43418637)

TFA says one type of rocket uses water as fuel. How do they extract energy from water?

Re:water as fuel (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#43419203)

Probably means water is propellant, and some unmentioned energy source is used to accelerate it.

But does it have Raquel Welch... (1)

russbutton (675993) | 1 year,13 days | (#43420125)

But does it have Raquel Welch, at the age of 28 or so, in a skin-tight wet suit? Yeah. I thought not.

Cue the free market (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#43420285)

Such machines could someday perform microsurgery ...

I'm thinking of nano-bots as performing some salami-slice-and-filler method to change the body. Hmmm. Market forces will result in nano-bot skin-patches for eyesight-correction, penis enlargement, muscle enlargement, follicle growth, skin tightening. The market for nano-scopic heart/brain surgery is less profitable.

Clotting itself (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,13 days | (#43420641)

Such microrockets would have to be small enough to go through capillaries. Red blood cells at 7.5 um diameter only fit through because they can bend. Target would have to be 1um and avoidance of causing clotting themselves when they get stuck somewhere (think of the heart with ensuing stroke).

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