Paralysis Ray Uses Photocontrolled Molecular Switch

A paralysis ray has been created by Canadian researchers Neil Branda and his colleagues. It requires that the test animal be thoroughly dosed with a "Photocontrolled Molecular Switch" - effectively, a poison that is just waiting to be activated.

Having stuffed their victims with this terrifying compound, the boffins then "irradiated" them with a particular wavelength of ultraviolet rays. This tripped the UV-sensitive "switch" compound, causing instant flaccidity and empurplement.

Branda and his pals then tried out the reversibility part of the kit, zapping the creatures with a different ray intended to turn off the switch and return to them control of their own bodies.

This didn't work nearly as well. "Many [of the test subjects] lived through the paralyze-unparalyze cycle", report the boffins.

However it's important to note that so far the technology is verified to work only on pinhead-sized nematode worms...

You may be stunned to learn that science fiction writers have been writing about paralysis rays for quite a while. In his 1938 story Satellite Five, Arthur K. Barnes wrote about paralysis rays (this is also a very early use of the phrase):

"I have invented a weapon, Miss Carlyle, that will render the monster on Satellite Five helpless!" he proclaimed dramatically. "A paralysis ray!" Gerry was dubious. She had seen abortive attempts at paralysis rays before.

"What's it's principle?" she asked.

"The transmission of a nerve impulse along the nerve fiber is provided by local electrical currents within the fiber itself... Passage over the junction point between cells is effected by a chemical transmitter, acetylcholine...

"This, in effect," went on Professor Lunde in lecture style, "produces a neutron stream... And the penetrating neutron blast destroys the acetylcholine by adding to its atomic structure, thus making it so extremely unstable that it breaks itself up at once."

Heinlein fans may recall his paralysis bombs and let's not forget the para-beam from the works of E.C. Tubb.

You could also go the other way on this story, and look at the material that is first injected and then activated, which may remind you of the residual poison developed by Piter de Vries in Frank Herbert's Dune.

You might also be interested in this Paralysis Beam From Peak Beam Systems .

Via The Register; thanks to Winchell Chung for suggesting this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/19/2009)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Biology ")

Researchers Say 'Biohybrid Robot' - Clarke Said 'Biot'
'... The biological robots were not living creatures.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1972.

Unique DNA To Foil Parts Counterfeiters
'... the only molecule, a unique protein amino acid, which could not be duplicated.' - Philip K. Dick, 1965.

Steerable Locusts Detect Explosives
Science fiction writers again provide a blueprint for the future.

Real Leather Without Cows Modern Meadow Biofabrication
'Plastissue, as any fool can see...' - WF Wallace, 1952,

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Cattle Avoidance Feature In Indian Autonomous Cars
'The driver went about the business of gently slipping the teflon-coated metal scoop beneath the first animal...'

Project KOVR Fashion Protection From Infosphere
'... the entire shroudlike membrane took on whatever physical characteristics were projected at any nanosecond.'

Twist Bioscience High Density Digital Data On DNA
'They tied the memory to the bloodline and that was their record!'

'We're Not Creating A Terminator' Say Russians About Gun-Wielding Robot Fedor
Nobody is thinking about the Terminator. Westworld, maybe.

Vantablack Now IMMEASURABLY Black
'a black coating now thatís ninety-nine percent absorptive...'

Mercedes-Benz Autonomous Taxi Fleet In 3 Years
'... the taxi utilized sophisticated electronic sensors to perceive its surroundings.'

Is 'The Pulsar Positioning System' Evidence For SETI?
'For a hyperspace jump, you need at least four beacons for an accurate fix.'

Someday, You Might Like VR Enough To Move In
'That barrier was going to melt away someday soon. The transhumanists had promised...'

Humans Use Mental Power For Turtle Slavery
Now we need to start looking for animals with fingers...

Solar-Powered Moisture Vaporator
'The atmosphere yielded its moisture with reluctance.'

DxtER! Tricorder Prize Won By Final Frontier Medical Devices
We've been waiting a long time for this, Star Trek fans.

President Trump's Wall As Otra Nation Hyperloop
'...an hollow tube must be constructed the whole distance... as to admit a four wheeled carriage...'

Pickup Lines From Artificial Intelligences
'They hate us, you know... The humans. They'll stop at nothing.'

Pooper Scooper Drone Robot Watchdog 1
'Robots pick up the garbage and junk...'

Cassie Robot Brings AT-ST Walker To Life
There's even a log test!

Hundreds Of Robot Lawnmowers Invade Texas Town
'The mower reached the edge of the lawn, clucked to itself...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.