The Race for Technology

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‘Eureka!!!’ I shouted, as laughter bubbled up from the pit of my stomach, infecting the laboratory with my mirth. My three research assistants simultaneously let out whoopees as they hopped on the spot, pumping fists in the air. ‘Ahem! Ahem!’ someone tactfully but obtrusively cleared their throat. We all turned to the sound. Framed within the door was an unobtrusive light-skinned man, probably in his mid-fifties, with the grey sprinkled parsimoniously through his thinning black hair. ‘It could be quite a befitting expression should the circumstances be right Dr Dinga.’ he said pensively. ‘Concerning the issue of feasibility, there are only two possibilities: yes or no. Remember that even I have limits to how much I can influence the allocation of resources and time.’ He made the statement in a seemingly offhanded manner, while walking briskly to contemplate the reason of our jubilation. The Wistar rat we had experimented on lay on its side on a wooden board, recovering from anaesthesia. It was connected to several wires and tubes, enabling the monitoring of vital signs and other physiological parameters. The data collected and processed by the CPU was projected as virtual 3D images. The liver we had just transplanted was portrayed as being perfectly anatomically configured to the least atom. The physiological panel also showed that its metabolic activities had resumed normally.
We had worked hard to bypass the complications inherent to teleportation systems which were perilous when used within living systems. Though powerful, the existing computers could not provide accurate estimates for the delicate calculations required. Most had abandoned the idea completely to rely on the more convenient and proven methods provided by nanotechnology in transplantation surgery. Most of my colleagues had even relegated my efforts to the domain of quixotism. After twelve years I remained undaunted. Moreover, our most recent trials with what I’d dubbed the ‘biotransposer’ had been largely satisfying. We had not been able to rid ourselves completely of nanotechnology so we compromised with a hybrid system. We had combined miniaturised terminals with nanobots acting as fine tuning calculators and sinks as well as performing other tasks requiring surgical nano-accuracy. The hitch so far was the minor but not inconsequential coagulation caused by the procedure. There was nothing more destructive than the insidious energy conversions occurring during the procedure. They had proven even more critical than the intrinsic risks of flawed alignment during materialization. At least on ethical grounds we had won all arguments which had mostly boiled down to technical issues surrounding cloning technologies, though organs only were involved. The other bone of contention left to wrangle was the angle of cost effectiveness.
Pr Nkeng Elame was my staunchest supporter and a bigwig in quantum medicine. His help had been inestimable in all aspects of my endeavour. That he made such a statement proved that he was getting to the end of his tether as far as our grant mechanisms were concerned. ‘The answer is yes professor. We need just a few adjustments and I can assure you that in about 6 months we can safely transplant organs by teleportation.’ I replied soberly. ‘I wouldn’t hold you strictly to your statement Dinga,’ he said with a chuckle. ‘I did put the restraints to your answer after all. However, I would like you to remember that in our field the possibilities are infinite.’ he continued while turning to the door. ‘Dr Melo, come in and share your findings.’ ‘Pr, we are not saying that my esteemed colleague’s recent findings are obsolete but…’ Dr Melo was the professor’s other protégé, so far I’d only heard about him. He breezed in and stood close to the professor, gesticulating animatedly as he spoke. He was a powerfully built bespectacled fellow. ‘Melo, to the point.’ the professor said with an impatient sigh. ‘Yes. The problem of directionality was solved about a century ago but the restrictions on living bodies left many in disillusionment as things and not people could safely travel through time. We were not trying to solve the problem, but our goals were overtaken by serendipity...’ ‘Melo!’ the professor interrupted, looking at him significantly. ‘Sure, prof. In our calculations, while trying to bend the rules which imperil living matter travelling through time, we managed to move out of time.’ he said, virtually hoping from one foot to the other in excitement.
‘Dinga shut your mouth before someone thinks of storing a pineapple there.’ the professor said, his eyes twinkling with joviality. I’d certainly gotten the drift of Melo’s statement. In his exuberance Melo did not stop there, ‘Can you imagine the implications?’ Sure, I’d already gotten there and was back. What he was saying was that now we could engineer immortal organs. ‘But that’s preposterous!’ I blurted out, feeling suddenly unhappy as I thought of how he had supplanted me at my finest hour. ‘I thought the same initially when I viewed the first extrapolations from the time dilator.’ he replied evenly. ‘Even if that warping machine you call a dilator could achieve such fine estimates how would the space-time bubble created escape the vector-like qualities of time? I’d have thought just maintaining an organ on its course to the future would suffice.’ I interjected. ‘Should your postulate be realisable it would still remain impractical.’ he replied without missing a beat. ‘Whatever the case, I reluctantly admit that so far I lack a suitable hypothesis for this phenomenon. I really can’t explain how we escaped the space-time continuum. Like I said, it is more of a discovery than an invention. Don’t even ask me what dimension we would be dealing with or why it is visible or why mass is restricted.’ he said with finality. Now it was my turn to ask him the famous question the professor had plagued me with, though not on matters of feasibility. As usual the professor seemed to have anticipated my reaction as his lips curved with a knowing smile. ‘So, Dr Melo, concerning the issue of ethics...’

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Young Cameroonian, late twenties, general practitioner in medicine