• 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...


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.


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.


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)

    and not at an angle as it may hit the subject on the knee or foot Results Table 3 Dropping distances of two paired samples; Subjects: Dominant hands & Non-Dominant hands Dominant Non-Dominant Subject Dropping Distances (cm) Subject Dropping Distances (cm)

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

    These factors will be described and explained in my variables section. I implemented all these factors, at both sites, making sure I took into consideration the key factors. I tried my hardest making sure my experiment is fair, and that I measured everything accurately and precisely.

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

    * The action of the muscle is involved in respiration that make theses changes within the pressure and the movement of the air begins. * The main muscle involved in the mechanics of respiration is the diaphragm which is helped by the intercostals muscle this is positioned between the ribs.

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

    7. After sixty seconds the subject stops 8. And the number of sit ups performed are recorded Press ups Equipment * Floor mat * Stopwatch Method 1. Hands and toes touching the floor 2.

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

    * Make sure the cross staff and ranging pole is straight when holding on the shore, also, the surface should be flat but not a rock or a hole. It is because the would affect the independent variable - the shore height.

  2. Investigation of Microorganisms

    This is when the enzymes of the barley are genetically changed. As brewers are looking for a barley grain with more sugar rather than flavour. For the best flavour the barley which was considered the best was: the golden promise barley, this was genetically made 29 years ago.

  1. 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.

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

    The high levels of salt causes dehydration as the water is drawn out of the organism via osmosis. It is extremely dry in this zone so there is a lot of salt due to water evaporation and the crusting of the rocks.

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