Archive for the ‘Science and Technology’ Category

Continuing with the thought about science and technology in thrillers, I will admit that I like to stretch mine just a little bit. Sometimes it may be the basis for a whole new business empire or just touch on something that could be extended and become reality. I am a huge science fiction fan, but I try to steer clear of getting too far out there.
So my book Genetic Impulse (which is not yet published) bends on the subject of something I watched on the Discovery Channel a few years ago. In the show, I watched a scientist run a fossil through a chemical process and actually come away with soft tissue. More incredibly, it was the fossil of a T-Rex!
Check it out: Discovery – Dinosaur DNA

So I thought, this is cool, but where could this research lead us? What can we get from it? Dr. Schweitzer made an incredible discovery, but the part that falls short is the fact that the soft-tissue does not contain DNA. So put away your Jurassic Park annual pass. That won’t be happening any time soon. Still, it was amazing.

What I took from this is the idea that you could perform this type of analysis on other fossils. In fact, why don’t we do this on human fossils? In my book, my fictional Dr. Susan Chang does do this on ancient human fossils and comes away with DNA (simply because it’s not nearly as old as T-Rex. No matter how you slice it, it’d be a one in infinity chance to find DNA that can last more than a million years.) Her discovery maps an interesting path from human ancestors to modern humans. What happens next will be delivered when the book comes out. But see how this one discovery can lead to something more interesting?

I equate it to the Jurassic Park simplification of ideas. Michael Crichton was brilliant with his ideas. Hey, let’s take a mosquito and drape it in amber, then extract it millions of years later and joila! we have dinosaurs! But what made this fun is that for the average person like you and me, it was enough to be believable. And that’s the trick.

I like to make my leaps a little more connected, a little more fact-based. But that’s me. I need to know it could really happen. Now if only I could have the same commercial success as Crichton…

So how can I make parts of myself invisible with a do-it-yourself kit? Easy. Follow the link below. Researchers from the University of Rochester have made this trick simple. Perhaps they’ve just made some Magic secret public, but it sure is fascinating. It’s really a way of aligning several lenses to focus around an area and retrieve the background image unimpeded. But you have to see the pictures and video in the link. In this case the pictures and video are worth a thousand words.
Why do I share these scientific advances? Because in each one of them I find great uses for our writing. In this particular case, what if you built something like this to put in front of a security camera? Would it work? I don’t know for sure, but it would be an interesting and simple way to not be seen by the camera. You wouldn’t have to break into the facility and doctor the tape or put some loop in there to fool the ever-watchful guards.
It’s an easy way to make a cloaking device. I’m sure there are other, far more notorious ideas you could come up with on how to use a device like this. So think about it.
I like how these types of advances can be illuminated by our writing and get into the hands of those who not only like to read a good thriller, mystery or action novel, but actually pick up something on the way. And finding a way to turn invisible? Very cool.

Check it out:
Cloaking device

I need share with you another side of me. I’m a closet nerd. Well, maybe not closet anymore. I write about science and technology and I’m a senior software engineer in the healthcare industry. So another one of the categories I’ve created to write under is the ‘Science and Technology’ list.
This news caught my eye. Quick aside – when people ask me about what I do when I have writer’s block, I scoff. Writer’s block? With so many new and fantastic scientific discoveries taking place daily, there’s so much to write about, how can you be stifled?
I read about the discovery of the Majorana Particle. This is a particle that is matter and it’s also its own antimatter. How neat is that? The implications are staggering. Like neutrino’s, they barely interact with matter. Neutrino’s pass through the earth all the time because they can. But something that is a little more in between can be controllable. Which is something we humans like.
The Majorana Particle may help in finalizing the quantum computing puzzle. Partly because we could potentially control it.
Yeah, I’m a little scattered in this post because I’m just too excited about this.
Think of possible stories you could build around the discovery, or better yet, if you were the scientist who figured out how to control them. Would you quickly be surrounded by good guys or bad guys? Or a little of both?

But read the article first. Get your own takeaway from what it says.
And most of all, love the science! If we don’t embrace it, the bad guys will….
Check it out:
The Majorana Particle

Peppi Vecchio

Peppi Vecchio

Ahhhh. All the fun of science and technology. I grew up reading many Isaac Asimov books and was astounded at how he looked at the current science and tech of the day and put them into everyday use. Plastic contact lenses first came out in the late 1940’s. When he published the famed Caves of Steel in the early 1950’s, he was writing about a society that used them quite regularly. Like we do today. It was amazing foresight.

Today, technology doesn’t creep into our lives, it jumps! So I look at a landslide of innovative breakthroughs and see how they would affect us in the near future. Not nearly as prolific as Mr. Asimov, but certainly just as fun.

My name is Peppi Vecchio. Follow me as I publish bits and pieces of my current two books, Genetic Impulse and The Carrington Event. Characters and adventure all wrapped in a neat world of rapidly changing S & T. Change is certainly on the way…