• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Andromeda Strain: A Critical Analysis.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Jacob Davies 4-25-03 The Andromeda Strain: A Critical Analysis In 1969 Michael Crichton wrote The Andromeda Strain, a book that would forever expand the limits of a science fiction novel. Although written in 1969, it deals with very current issues facing the modern day boilogical and even political realm. Technically a science fiction novel, the meticulously crafted plot is so intertwined with actual science and technology that some have catagorized it as "science fact." It is this realistic overtone that gives the impression that perhaps, someday, events in the book could actually take place. Plot Synopsis The book opens up with a fictional page of acknowledgments stating "This book recounts the five-day history of a major American scientific crisis." From this opening sentence, the author immediately sets the tone as one of historical narration of events that actually took place. It is supposed to be a retelling of a scientific tradgedy with monumental implications. From here, the story the author relates begins. Five years earlier the United States government initiated a program called Project Scoop. The project's purpose was to send unmanned space capsules into the earth's outer atmosphere to collect samples and examine them. The hope was that undiscovered biological agents could be found for potential use as biological weapons of war. ...read more.

Middle

To combat his pain he took a bottle of aspirin a day and drank Sterno, a small stove fuel that contained alcohol and methanol. Both the aspirin and Sterno not only made his ulcers worse, but they also worked to raise the overall acidity of his body to toxic proportions. While Burton continued research on how the microorganism, now code named "Andromeda," was transmitted and caused death, Stone and Leavitt focused on determining the physical nature of the organism. Through complicated testing they determined that it was a unicellular, hexagonal organism with no amino acids or proteins. It converted carbon dioxide and ultraviolet light directly into energy with no excretions of any kind. Several weeks into the their research, rubber gasket seals suddenly began decomposing, seemingly for no reason. One by one, the sealed labs of the fifth level became open to the Andromeda organism. This set off the countdown for the nuclear device in Wildfire to detonate. Knowing that the organism fed off of energy and wasted nothing, they realized that if the bomb was detonated, the organism would convert the energy to mass and grow exponentially large instead of being wiped out by the blast. With little time to spare and to much avail, Hall was able to make it to a substation with his key and stop the blast. ...read more.

Conclusion

Over millions of years man has evolved with the countless number of microorganisms in his body. When you totally obliterate this relationship, you undue the evolutionary work of centuries. The drug basically set the subjects immune system back to square one, before any coeveolution could take place. Crichton also mentions something called "The Messenger Theory", a possible method of interstellar communication. When trying to communicate between two distant galaxies, radio waves are much too slow and fade too quickly. Video signals are even less effective. A method that more intelligent life might employ would be to grow a number of microorganisms that would grow uninhibited in the vastness of space. The alien race would send them out in random directions where they would drift perpetually until finally reaching other life. Once reaching their destination, they would develop into full organ, or organism capable of communication. They would inform the other race of the presence of the other, and possible ways to communicate back. This seemed amusing to the more practical scientists, but it had to be considered a possibility with Andromeda. Overall, "The Andromeda Strain's" extremely technical subject matter made it challenging to read, but informative on a level usually not touched on by other science fiction novels. The plot itself as well as the concepts conveyed in this book make it relevent to the modern biologic world, even over 30 years later. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Energy, Respiration & the Environment section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Energy, Respiration & the Environment essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Fighter Pilot A Statistical Analysis of Reaction time and its Correlation with Dominant ...

    5 star(s)

    not take part again * Miss drops will be allowed to re-try but only once, further miss drops will be recorded as 100cm * A total of 30 subjects for each group to be tested Preliminary work The preliminary work carried out before the initial investigation allowed for a hypothesis

  2. An investigation into the distribution of adult and juvenile limpets on a rocky shoreline.

    height Percentage of adult and juvenile limpets on each shore heights Lower Shore Middle Shore Upper Shore Percentage of juvenile limpets found on each shore Percentage of Adult limpets found on each shore Out of the adult limpets counted on all three of the shores, were found in the middle

  1. A Comparative Study of the Density of Patella Vulgata (Common Limpets) in the Optimum ...

    Compared to 83 being recorded in just one 25cm2 quadrat, this shows that the increased biodiversity on sheltered rocky shores must promote competition tremendously, for limpets to prefer the harsher conditions of exposed rocky shores to escape interspecific and intraspecific competition for biota.

  2. Why the Body Needs Energy? Every living cell within the ...

    * The diaphragm also helps with expulsive body actions e.g > Micturition (urine excretion) > Defecation (faeces expulsion) > Parturition (giving birth) Reference: http://www.gcsesciencedoubleaward.co.uk/c3.htm http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/biology/humansasorganisms/2breathingrev2.shtml Website viewed on 24 / 5 08 Alveoli The exchange of gases in the lungs takes place in the tiny sacs called the alveoli at the end of the terminal bronchioles.

  1. Weed study. Dandelions - descrption and characteristics. Investigation to dandelion distribution.

    I will try and repeat my investigation as many times as possible to attain accurate and efficient results. I have a vague idea of the method that I will use. This will be explained later on. I may include the results that I used last year to show how I presented my results.

  2. Investigation of Microorganisms

    This type of barley was strong and would stand up to the wind. This type of golden promise barley has less use today; a Scottish company still uses it to produce their whisky. The golden promise barley was produced with gamma rays; this changed the barley to be used as malt in brewery.

  1. Comparing Physical Fitness Between Male and Female-Implementing the Investigation

    The stopwatch is started 6. The sit-up is started by raising the upper body forward to or beyond the vertical position, so that the base of the neck is above the base of the spine, and then lower the body until the bottom of the shoulder blades and the back

  2. Social Science

    Unfortunately, not everybody is willing or can afford to simply throw away their old, 10-year fridge for a new Energy Star appliance that will lower the energy used, just for the sake of the environment. But while researching I found that you can save up to $2000 in your energy bills by replacing old appliances with new ones.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work