The year was 1966. My classmates and I were herded aboard buses by our grade school teachers in Phoenix, Arizona for a “field trip” to see a newly released science fiction movie titled, Fantastic Voyage. The story line: Russian scientist, Jan Benes, who held the secret of how to shrink soldiers for an indefinite period, escaped from behind the Iron Curtain with the help of a CIA agent. While being transferred, their motorcade was attacked and Benes’ head was struck, causing a blood clot to form in his brain. A group of scientists then were miniaturized, along with a submarine, injected into his bloodstream, and had one hour to travel to his brain and remove the clot and get out before the immune system recognized them as a foreign body. As I remember, the teachers wanted us to see the internal marvels of the human body as the crew made their way from the arm, through the heart, and on to the brain. A similar concept was explored in the 1990s by the popular PBS children’s television program based on the Magic School Bus children’s books by Joanna Cole (“The Magic School...,” n.d.).
Discounting the idea of shrinking people, reality can be stranger than fiction. Australian scientists are developing a miniature robot that they hope will be able to propel itself through human arteries to perform delicate medical procedures. With a width of two human hairs, the 250-micron microrobot will transmit images and perform microscopic tasks in areas of the body where current surgical procedure is risky. Once inserted by means of a syringe, the microrobot will be guided by remote control to the target site to perform its assigned tasks, and then returned to the point of entry for extraction (Cole, 2007).
One of the obstacles researchers have faced for years is how to design the propulsion system (e.g., Philipkoski, 1999; Lurie, 2004). Since electromagnetic motors have been found to be impractical, this “microrobot’s design is based on the E. coli bacterium, complete with flagella that will propel it through the body,” with the flagella made from human hair (Cole, 2007).
Once again, men turn to God and His creation in order to solve their problems. The Creator built into His creation the principles necessary for the Universe to operate for His purposes. Within that divinely designed framework, intelligent men tap into the intelligent designs of the Master Designer to produce amazing technology that aids the human race. “Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves” (Psalm 100:3).
Cole, Emmet (2007), “Fantastic Voyage: Departure 2009,” Wired News, January 18, [On-line], URL: http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,72448-0.html.
“The Magic School Bus®: Inside the Human Body” (no date), [On-line], URL: http://www.scholastic.com/magicschoolbus/home.htm.
Lurie, Karen (2004), “Smallest Robot,” ScienCentral News, July 15, [On-line], URL: http://www.sciencentral.com/articles/view.php3?type=article&article_id =218392303.
Philipkoski, Kristen (1999), “Will Robots Sail Your Veins?” Wired News, January 16, [On-line], URL: http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,17376-1.html?tw=wn_story_page_next1.
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