Trekking through NASA’S med­i­cal con­tri­bu­tions

Modern Healthcare - - OUTLIERS -

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.

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