The bridge between science fiction and science fact will, in most instances, never be bridged. In many movies, science seems more akin to magic, and scientists themselves seldom exhibit the technological knowhow necessary to learn how to use a microscope. However, many of the technological miracles available in popular films would make a useful and convenient, or just plain entertaining addition to daily life.
The popular sci-fi franchise Star Trek features a myriad of technological marvels that would transform daily living if they could be brought out of films and TV and into the real world. The medical tricorder, featured in every Star Trek title, is a lightweight handheld device that provides an instant diagnosis for any physical malady by scanning life-signs, checking organ function, detecting foreign organisms and much more. Scientists in the real world are working on developing a working version of this miracle device, although modern science is probably still years away from the functionality of this versatile science fiction device.
Also featured in Star Trek, as well as many other sci-fi stories, the replicator is a life-changing technology that can rearrange subatomic particles into any inanimate object that the replicator’s computer data system has on file. The replicator can use this resequencing technology to reproduce clothing, supplies, food, fuel, and virtually any other object, although it cannot reproduce living organisms. While some modern scientists believe that molecular assembler that works like a replicator is theoretically possible, this incredible device is still a long way from being built.
While recreating a giant meat-eating prehistoric reptile remains a spectacularly terrible idea, the cloning technology used in Jurassic Park to recreate long-extinct dinosaurs and other organisms could be incredibly useful. In the film, all that is required to begin the cloning process is a complete DNA sequence, which would allow scientists to recreate and reinvent species this planet hasn’t seen in millennia, with more practical applications that building the world’s most dangerous theme park.
Cryopreservation, or cryosleep, is a method of using very low temperatures to temporarily halt bio-organic function and place humans in a state of suspended animation. In sci-fi movies like Aliens, this technology is used to allow humans to travel the huge interstellar distances of space in a peaceful, years-long sleep, and then revive at their destination, alert and chipper and ready to be devoured by alien species. While cryopreservation is currently used in the real world to preserve human beings, the process is not yet reversible, and is only performed on those who have been declared legally dead.
Author: Savannah Coulsen is a freelance writer. She lives in Raleigh. Savannah loves to read and write and she hopes to write a novel someday. Savannah also loves learning and is a self-proclaimed health guru.