Trekking through NASA’S medical contributions
While Trekkies may be lining up now to watch the latest adventures of the starship Enterprise’s crew in the No. 1 flick “Star Trek Into Darkness,” the original Capt. Kirk still has a few things to say about space.
When Outliers last checked in on William Shatner just before Thanksgiving 2011, the famously bombastic actor was starring in a series of YouTube videos produced by State Farm Insurance with safety tips for deep-frying turkeys (Nov. 21, 2011, p. 36). The sci-fi legend has now lent his ironic tones to NASA for a video touting the medical innovations that the space agency’s scientific breakthroughs have made possible.
“Imagine doctors giving an ultrasound to patients hundreds of miles away on Earth or in space. Imagine tiny life-saving heart pumps created with rocket-engine technology. Imagine robot-assisted surgery. NASA did,” Shatner says in the video (Watch the video at bit.ly/12y6fuf).
Two other sci-fi icons also appear in the video series lauding the everyday uses of technology pioneered by NASA. June Lockhart of “Lost in Space” fame talks of the public health boon of clean drinking water technologies the space agency developed. And Wil Wheaton, who was part of the franchise as Wesley Crusher on TV’s “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” mentions a cardiac pump developed from rocket-engine technology.
But can NASA technology help defeat Khan, Kirk’s genetically engineered superman nemesis who’s resurrected for the new flick? Sorry, Outliers doesn’t do spoilers, so a trip to your local multiplex may be required to find out.