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Posts Tagged ‘nanotechnology’

cellcookcover

George Wilson, MD, is a senior radiology resident in a major L.A. hospital. A promising future and a loving fiancée, George’s future is so bright that he’s got to wear shades (oh Timbuk 3, we need you chaps back on the radio). And then one morning, George awakens with a dead fiancée in his bed … seemingly due to Type 1 diabetic complications. Several months later whilst going through the grieving process, George attends a seminar hosted by Amalgamated Healthcare, where he runs into an old flame (Paula Stonebrenner) and the revelation of a new medical breakthrough in the form of a smartphone app called iDoc. A convergence of informational technology, nanotechnology and genomics, the iDoc is poised to be quite the thing to supplement the Affordable Care Act where virtual digitized doctors monitor and offer medical advice without the inconvenience of waiting in line at the local hospital or clinic. Now I know what you’re thinking: a health insurance company coming up with a solution to “help” the healthcare system. Seriously, that alone is some really good medical fiction right there. But alas, here it is. Soon George discovers that there are many people using iDoc as beta testers. Among them was his late fiancée (hmmm, you say). And just when the uneasiness of being replaced with Siri, MD, was beginning to arise in George, many of the beta testers started dying on him which ranges from a friendly neighbour to several patients he’s actually worked with. Still not impressed or intrigued? Oh yes, did I forget to mention that most of these victims were either terminal or potential terminal cases. Bloody hell, you’re saying about now … and you’re in good company. As George decides to investigate iDoc (the accidental death panel known as Siri) and Amalgamated Health, he finds himself entrenched in a sinister game of cat and mouse where his sleuthing threatens Amalgamated’s bottom line (aye, that is always a good thing) and George stands to lose more than just his residency or sanity.
Cook’s Cell is a neck-breaking thrill ride down a dark, twisting mountainside on a very thin road … with the lights off. It grips you by the throat all the way to the mind-blowing end … and yes, it will blow your mind. And if anything, it’ll make you appreciate those long waits at your local clinic as you thumb through old People magazines or endure Judge Judy or the Price is Right on a crappy telly … over some PHd enhanced Siri that simply wants to kill you. Just saying mates.

P.S. Siri is not the actual virtual avatar that is used in the book. I just used her because … well … she makes such a great target. Tee hee.

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rcooknano

I am fascinated with the world of nanotechnology. The concept of making robots so small on a molecular level that could (one day) swim around your blood stream eating cancers and tumors or even used to generate organs from a vat of organic chemicals … fascinates me immensely. So when I saw the Nano by Robin Cook, it was literary Christmas times two (yes, I need to get out more).

Interestingly enough, Pia Grazdani returns. You, know the chick from Death Benefits (just a few posts down, mates) with the scary baggage. After surviving some “stuff” (sorry but I don’t intend to ruin it for those that haven’t read Benefits as yet) in NYC, she takes some time away from her studies and finds herself in the employ of Nano; a company that is doing pioneering research in the field of nanotechnology and headed by the charismatic, driven Zachary Berman. Nestled at the foothills of the Rockies (in Colorado), with a magnificent campus, Nano is a seemingly Pia’s ideal workplace. Did I that, somehow, Mr. Berman has somewhat tapped into unknown source of “unlimited funding”? Well, I guess I just did. During a jog through the sprawling campus, Pia encounters a fallen “employee” that has seemingly succumbed to a severe seizure. When the man suddenly recovers from (let’s just say … um … ) death and then whisked away from hospital by special Nano staff to a highly restricted area of the Nano campus, a sea of red flags are raised in Pia’s mind about the situation. As Pia struggles to unearth the secrets of Nano, she discovery reveals a Pandora’s box of vileness that shatters the scientific utopia of Nano: human experiments. And yes, there is no such thing as “unlimited funding” and if there is … be careful of the hosts for they want something even more. To make things worse, Mr. Berman has plans for Ms. Grazdani that have more to do with silk and satin sheets and other bits of naughtiness rather than late night discussions of the latest techniques of molecular production.
As Pia is drawn to the terrifying truth, we find more twists than a DNA helix where everyone aren’t what they seem and the limits that some are willing to go for the sake of profitable medical technologies … even if it involves murder.

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